[Beowulf] Mobos for portable use

Lux, Jim (337C) james.p.lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Thu Jan 19 06:36:22 PST 2017

This comes up every few years..
Someone at work was complaining at lunch that the latest laptops have nice screens but don’t have much memory, largely because they want to keep the battery size reasonable ("thin is in”).. my suggestion was “well, why don’t you just use your laptop as the user interface to a bigger more powerful compute node/nodes”
That devolved into a “but what I really want is the horsepower of my desktop machine”..

Leaving aside the “use the network to connect to a CPU somewhere else”

We then started discussing whether anyone makes motherboards with high performance processors, lots of RAM, maybe a GPU for computation (but no display hooked up), but none of the other stuff, and then run off batteries..
Like a battery powered Intel NUC, but with way more horsepower
The top of the line NUC seems to have a 19V, 65W power supply..  arstechnica says they burn about 50W running full out.   Let’s say you want to run for 4 hours, so you need 200 Whr.

A 18650 Li battery is 3.4 Ah @ 3.6V, that’s about 23 Wh, so you’d need 9 of them.  That’s not all that big a package.. Arranged in a row, they’d be 65mm by 162 mm..

Prismatic (brick shaped) batteries are 350 Wh/Liter, 135Wh/kg.. so 200 Wh is going to be about half a liter (50x100x100 mm) and 1.5 kg

James Lux, P.E.
Task Manager, DHFR Space Testbed
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
4800 Oak Grove Drive, MS 161-213
Pasadena CA 91109
+1(818)395-2714 (cell)

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