CNX Software – Embedded Systems News

Circumference Datacentre-in-a-Box Features up to 32 Raspberry Pi 3 B+ Managed by a UDOO x86 Ultra Board (Crowdfunding)

We’ve previously seen several clusters made of Raspberry Pi boards with a 16 RPi Zero cluster prototype, or BitScope Blade with 40 Raspberry Pi boards. The latter now even offers solutions for up to 1,000 nodes in a 42U rack.

Circumference offers an other option with either 8 or 32 Raspberry Pi 3 (B+) boards managed by UDOO x86 board acting as a dedicated front-end processor (FEP) that’s designed as a “Datacenter-in-a-Box”.

Key features and specifications:

C25 Backplane (C25BP)  – One in C25 model, Four in C100 model

The firmware for the backplane has been developed with the Arduino IDE and Wiring C libraries, and as such will be “hackable” by the user once the source code is released. The same can be said for the front panel board used in C100 model and equipped with a Microchip ATmega328 MCU.

The UDOO x86 Ultra board runs a Linux distribution – which appears to be Ubuntu – and supports  cluster control out of the out-of-the-box thanks to a daemon and a command line utility (CLI), as well as Python and MQTT APIs.

Hardware design files, firmware, and software source code will be made available after the hardware for the main pledge levels have been shipped.

Circumference C25 and C100 are offered as kits with the following:

What you don’t get are the Raspberry Pi 3 (B+) and UDOO x86 (Ultra) boards, SSD and/or micro-SD cards, and power supply, which you need to purchase separately. That’s probably means you could also replace RPI 3 boards, by other mechanically and electrically compatible boards such Rock64 or Renegade boards, or even mix them up (TBC).

The solution can be used for cloud, HPC, and distributed systems development, as well as testing, and education.

The project has just launched on Crowdsupply aiming to raise $40,000 for mass production. Rewards start at $549 for the C25 (8+1) model, and $2,599 for the C1000 (32+1) model with an optional $80 120W power supply for the C25 model only, but as just mentioned without the Raspberry Pi and UDOO boards.  Shipping is free worldwide and planned for the end of January 2019, except for more expensive early access pledges which are scheduled for the end of November.

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