Sandia National Labs' Linux minicluster based on parvus hardware

Livermore, CA and Salt Lake City, UT - parvus Corp. announced September 26 that it has helped Sandia National Laboratories develop a portable Linux cluster computer system based on commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) PC/104 technology.


Livermore, CA and Salt Lake City, UT - parvus Corp . announced September 26 that it has helped Sandia National Laboratories develop a portable Linux cluster computer system based on commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) PC/104 technology.

While cluster computers typically combine multiple desktop-sized PCs to work in parallel on problems too large for a single computer, Sandia's Minicluster leverages embedded PC components to achieve a high-performance, low-cost parallel processing system roughly the size of a breadbox.

Computers such as the Minicluster could potentially be used to demonstrate a wide variety of scientific and business applications, including weather prediction, human genome analysis, pharmaceutical design, aircraft and automobile design, seismic exploration, artificial intelligence, data mining, and financial analysis, among others.

''By utilizing parvus' components, packaging, and systems integration services, Sandia was able to quickly complete the Minicluster project,'' said Mitch Williams, engineer at Sandia's Embedded Reasoning Institute (ERI). ''Our design successfully integrates all standard features of normal-sized rack-mounted clusters, including individual keyboard, video and mouse access to every node, while minimizing size to barely over a foot tall and five inches wide.''

The unit incorporates a Linux OS, four PC/104 processor nodes, a 10BaseT private network, power supply, KVM switch, and an external PCMCIA wireless connection. A number of standard PC/104 products from parvus went into the cluster design, including the following:

  • Dual PCMCIA Interface Board

  • Two 10Mbit Ethernet Hubs

  • PC/104+ Power Interface Board

  • PC/104 Double Height Adapters

  • PC/104 Quad CPU Switch

  • SnapStik Incremental Card Cage

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Gary A. Mintchell, senior editor

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