Below is a short overview of small scale computers for use in embedded computing.
- Intel Galileo, single core Quark/Pentium, ca. 100 USD, <15 W
- Intel Edison, dual core Atom Silvermont, 500 MHz, ca. 100 USD, <1 W
- Raspberry Pi, single core ARM, 700 MHz, ca. 35 USD, ~1 W
- Arduino series, e.g., Intel Quark/Cortex, 32 MHz, ca. 15 USD, ~1 W
- ESP8266 (spec), single core Tensilica Xtensa LX106, 80 MHz, 7 USD, 1 mW
On the other end of the spectrum there are Mini PCs.
- Intel NUC, quadcore Intel i5/i7, ca. 400 USD (no SSD+no RAM), 6-60 W
- Apple Mac Mini, Intel i5/i7, ca. 500 USD, 6-85 W
- Apple Mac Pro, Intel 3.5 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon E5, ca. 4,000 USD, <450 W
Now comes the fun part: connecting many small scale computers to a cluster.
Connecting 64 Raspberry Pi running MPI and putting them all into a Lego frame, see Raspberry Pi at Southampton.
Clustering 48 PandaBoards and putting this all into an industrial trashcan, see Phoronix: Building A 96-Core Ubuntu ARM Solar-Powered Cluster.
Clustering ten Intel NUCs each with 10GB RAM: Orange Box, see The Orange Box: Cloud for the Free Man, motto: Most planes fly in clouds…this cloud flies in planes!
Mac Pros are offered in the cloud, see Dedicated Mac Pro server hosting.