cluster using handhelds
jhalpern at howard.edu
Thu Sep 11 09:34:24 EDT 2003
IF you really wanted to do this, one way would be to contact a large
organiztion that had a lot of the same kind of laptops with broken
display screens/keyboards...much more bang for the buck at less power
and they probably WANT to give them to you. Of course the power brick
farm would be interesting.
Jim Lux wrote:
> At 04:48 PM 9/10/2003 -0500, you wrote:
>> On Wed, 10 Sep 2003, Jim Lux wrote:
>> > Has anyone tried building a cluster using handheld computers (i.e.
>> iPaq or
>> > Palm type) that use wireless LAN (802.11) or IR for the
>> interconnect? Is
>> > there an implementation of MPI that will work in that environment
>> > PalmOS) (perhaps MPICH in some form?)
>> > Yes, I know the performance will be hideous.
>> Ok, I can not help but to comment.
>> Once upon a time, just for S&G's, we spec'ed out a T-FLOP cluster out of
>> PalmPilots. Assuming no space for wiring, we figgured we could fit
>> about 144 of my Palms into a cubic foot.
>> Crammed floor to ceiling, had our building had 1,500 stories, it would
>> have almost held the thing.
>> Sorry for my silliness, but i still find it funny.
> You may laugh, but consider a structure that looks like a floppy ball
> some 100 meters in radius with sensing elements scattered every 10-20
> cm across the surface, each with it's own processor that needs to talk
> to some (but not all) of the other elements to make the measurements.
> Perhaps not TFLOPS, but a huge pile of small processors, nonetheless.
> Now consider that before anybody would give you the tens of millions
> of dollars required to actually build such a thing, they'd want to see
> some sort of credible demonstration that it's feasible to do the work
> with processors of limited capability, but, yet, still general purpose
> and programmable.
> Further, one probably doesn't want to spend a huge amount of time
> designing processor nodes, but wants to buy something off the shelf,
> preferably consumer mass market. One would also prefer something where
> the internal architecture is published and understandable so that one
> could make credible estimates of what that fancy custom element is
> going to need.
> Hence the question about clusters of handhelds:
> handhelds are consumer mass market and cheap
> linux on a handheld is "open and visible" as far as internals go
> WinCE might be (depending on licensing, etc. It's been a long time
> since I was an "embedded windows" (forerunner to WinCE) developer)
> 802.11 is a wireless comm scheme with known properties. The eventual
> system would probably use something else (Snaggletooth, Forkbeard
> (Bluetooth's son), Zigbee (802.15.4), CCSDS proximity link, or whatever)
> MPI because I'm lazy, and I already know how to use MPI for stuff.
> By the way, handhelds that can talk to a cmos/ccd camera and grab
> frames on demand would be even better.
>> Rocky McGaugh
>> Atipa Technologies
>> rocky at atipatechnologies.com
>> rmcgaugh at atipa.com
>> 1-785-841-9513 x3110
>> perl -e 'print unpack(u, ".=W=W+F%T:7\!A+F-O;0H`");'
> James Lux, P.E.
> Spacecraft Telecommunications Section
> Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Mail Stop 161-213
> 4800 Oak Grove Drive
> Pasadena CA 91109
> tel: (818)354-2075
> fax: (818)393-6875
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