First Technology Transfer

Standard and Advanced Technical Training, Consultancy and Mentoring

Building and programming a computer cluster using RasbperryPi boards

Duration: 5 Days

By and large parallel programming is not covered in the A Level computer science syllabus to any degree. However many complex problems can only be tackled effectively on powerful computers that can carry out very large numbers of operations in parallel. One way of constructing such computers is via the creation of clusters of smaller computers linked together by high speed networks.

On this course a start on building such clusters and understanding the underlying technologies will be made by building a cluster involving 4 RaspberryPi 3 boards. The cluster that each team will build will used the Quattro PI BitScope Blade board from an Austalian company called Bitscope.

As well as building a blade and connecting up all the elements via an ethernet switch teams will install and configure a Beowulf cluster and OpenMPI, a widely used open source implementation of the Message Passing Interface (MPI) standard.

With a working cluster with MPI capabilities set up we will start to explore parallel programming techniques in general and using MPI in particular. The examples we will explore will cover matrix multiplication and genetic algorithms.