[Beowulf] El Reg: AMD reveals potent parallel processing breakthrough

Vincent Diepeveen diep at xs4all.nl
Sat May 11 09:55:08 PDT 2013

On May 11, 2013, at 6:29 PM, Lux, Jim (337C) wrote:

> On 5/11/13 2:06 AM, "Vincent Diepeveen" <diep at xs4all.nl> wrote:
>> On May 11, 2013, at 2:17 AM, Lux, Jim (337C) wrote:
>>> I agree with you..
>>> But proving that you can build a HPC using whatever, be it PS/3s or
>>> Furbys or nVidia cards, if you can't find people to program it,
>>> that's a problem.
>>> (As someone who proposed building a cluster with Arduinos, I
>>> recognize that I am eating my own dogfood now...  But I DO happen
>>> to have 5 Arduino Uno Ethernets here in my desk drawer, and I have
>>> a 5 port hub/switch as well.  The switch claims 1 Gbps, so I
>>> probably won't have to worry about saturating its bisection
>>> bandwidth. Or constructing some sort of toroidal fabric.  Funny, I
>>> don't see an implementation of MPIduino anywhere though.)
>> That's because if you produce a product it's cheaper to have your own
>> board designed and you put on it the chip that's fast enough for your
>> software.
> I don't think a Arduino cluster is something you would build to do  
> actual
> computation. Just imagine.. All those little 18MHz CPUs with their  
> 16 bit
> integer CPU just merrily spinning away.
> You'd do it to fool with cluster interconnect topologies, simple
> parallelism, experimenting with fault tolerance when a link  
> disappears,
> and stuff like that. Particularly in an educational setting, where you
> could fairly inexpensively set up 20 or 30 people with a 15-20 node
> cluster.

 From educational viewpoint a cluster out of low clocked cpu's that  
are slower
than the bandwidth it has, is completely wasted time and utter useless.

Get something better for your money there :)

>  There's an inherent satisfaction to doing this kind of thing with
> separate little boxes and cables and stuff, rather than just  
> spinning up
> instances on Vms in your laptop.
> It's kind of like chem lab. Sure, you can simulate the reactions (with
> errors) on the computer, but I think you lose a lot by not actually
> handling the glassware and chemicals.
>> That's far cheaper than using existing combination of boards.
>> To give one example for the robot i'm building.
>> A kind of tankchassis with robotarm on it, i want to drive a few DC
>> motors and a bunch of servo's. as well as robot vision with a camera.
>> Clustering 40 Mhz cpu's (or clocked something low like that) is
>> pretty stupid then if alternative is for example a board from odroid
>> or so that has a quad core ARM a9 on it.
>> That's $89 for the U2 with a quad core 1.7Ghz chip and $69 for quad
>> core 1.4Ghz
>> A lot cheaper and faster practically for vision software than any of
>> your r-pi/arduino cluster ideas :)
>> http://www.hardkernel.com/renewal_2011/products/prdt_info.php?
>> g_code=G135341359084
> As noted above, one big fast computer beats many small computers
> computationally, almost all the time.
> (same is true in many other situations.. E.g. High power radio
> transmitters.. One big tube is almost always better than many small  
> tubes)
> Nobody would cluster Furby's, Arduinos, Teensys, PICs, rPis, etc. for
> computational reasons. You'd do it because you're curious and it's  
> cheap,
> or because it happens to fit a peculiar use case (e.g. A large LED  
> video
> wall with distributed processing, so you don't have to run separate  
> wires
> to each LED)
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