Provided that the Raspberry Pi Pico and the RP2040 chip which powers it are supposed to be microcontrollers, it is superb how a lot computing energy builders have been capable of squeeze out of them. The RP2040 chip, which runs at 133 MHz and comes with 256K of SRAM has been used for all the things from a handheld recreation console (opens in new tab) to a internet server and plant monitoring system. And, after all, you possibly can play Doom on it.
Now, UK-based Developer Derek Woodroffe, who runs a web site and Twitter account known as Excessive Electronics (opens in new tab), has constructed a technique to mix 9 completely different Raspberry Pi Picos right into a distributed computing cluster. On Twitter, he posted a video of the cluster performing a Mandelbrot calculation and outputting it as a fractal picture to a 240 x 320 show (an ili9341) utilizing an I2C connection.
9 picos , 1 show…Some points with lacking information nonetheless, I believe a race situation particulars within the git. https://t.co/WZ7SRE3ibE pic.twitter.com/wocjRiXod1April 7, 2023
Woodroffe has posted his code and directions for reproducing the venture, which he calls PicoCray, on his github web page (opens in new tab). He writes that, to pair the Picos collectively, you could join GPIO 10, 11, 12, 13 and GND from one board to a different. Every Pico have to be powered by itself through USB or over the three.3-volt pin. He additionally says that you’ll want to place 4.7K Ohm resistors on GPIO 10 and 11 on the final processor within the group.
The code is equivalent on the entire nodes within the cluster and, if you wish to use one because the controller you could join a wire from GPIO 22 to floor. There are extra particulars on the github web page.
Woodroffe notes that, at current, that is extra of a proof of idea than a strong, multi-processor system. He writes that “for a lot of makes use of, it truly runs slower than working on a single Pico.” Nevertheless, the thought is a stable one and we anticipate to see extra builders reap the benefits of it.
To be truthful, this is not the primary occasion of somebody utilizing a number of RP2040 chips collectively for extra computing energy. Lately, Pimoroni introduced that’s engaged on a new DV stick that may have one RP2040 for video and one other for different duties. And, in the case of common Raspberry Pi computer systems, there are a ton of cluster choices. One mega cluster even contained 100 Pis (opens in new tab).