We’ve seen the supercomputer cluster work of [Nick Smith] from the UK before, but his latest build is quite lovely. This time around, he put together a 96-core supercomputer using the NanoPi Fire3, a Raspberry Pi alternative that has double the number of cores. His post takes you through how he built the supercomputer cluster, from designing the laser-cut acrylic case to routing the power cables.
The best part of it, though, is the neat way he built a lovely front panel health display. Using a Pimoroni PHat, the display shows CPU load, temperature, disk & network activity for each of the 12 boards using only a single SPI cable from one of the NanoPi boards. This board runs a Mosquito MQTT server that polls status info from each board once a second, then updates the display, so it should be quick to spot any problems. That’s important because [Nick] wanted to keep the build quiet, so he used two almost silent fans that are throttled by controlling the voltage. It’s not a greedy cluster, though, as [Nick] found that it only used 55W when running flat-out, and 24W when idling. It’s another neat build, and the write-up helps you see why [Nick] did things a certain way. It’s therefore a good read for anyone interested in how you plan and build SBC systems. You should also check out previous builds from Nick, such as laser-cut cases for SBCs and his Raspberry Pi cluster.