Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Computer Science


Computer Science


Chris Lupo


With the rising costs of large scale distributed systems many researchers have began looking at utilizing low power architectures for clusters. In this paper, we describe our Astro cluster, which consists of 46 NVIDIA Jetson TK1 nodes each equipped with an ARM Cortex A15 CPU, 192 core Kepler GPU, 2 GB of RAM, and 16 GB of flash storage. The cluster has a number of advantages when compared to conventional clusters including lower power usage, ambient cooling, shared memory between the CPU and GPU, and affordability. The cluster is built using commodity hardware and can be setup for relatively low costs while providing up to 190 single precision GFLOPS of computing power per node due to its combined GPU/CPU architecture. The cluster currently uses one 48-port Gigabit Ethernet switch and runs Linux for Tegra, a modified version of Ubuntu provided by NVIDIA as its operating system. Common file systems such as PVFS, Ceph, and NFS are supported by the cluster and benchmarks such as HPL, LAPACK, and LAMMPS are used to evaluate the system. At peak performance, the cluster is able to produce 328 GFLOPS of double precision and a peak of 810W using the LINPACK benchmark placing the cluster at 324th place on the Green500. Single precision benchmarks result in a peak performance of 6800 GFLOPs. The Astro cluster aims to be a proof-of-concept for future low power clusters that utilize a similar architecture. The cluster is installed with many of the same applications used by top supercomputers and is validated using the several standard supercomputing benchmarks. We show that with the rise of low-power CPUs and GPUs, and the need for lower server costs, this cluster provides insight into how ARM and CPU-GPU hybrid chips will perform in high-performance computing.