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Clustering system supports up to 72 ARM modules

May 10, 2017 — by Eric Brown — 1751 views

Christmann’s “RECS|Box” evaluation platform and server enclosures can cluster up to 72 Toradex Apalis COMs, and offer GbE and KVM switching.

Toradex announced that Christmann Informationstechnik + Medien GmbH & Co. KG has launched several RECS|Box cluster-computing platforms for Toradex’s ARM-based, Linux-friendly Apalis computer-on-modules. The systems work with any of Toradex’s SODIMM-style, pin-compatible Apalis-brand modules, including the i.MX6-based Apalis iMX6, Tegra K1 based Apalis TK1, and the soon-to-ship, i.MX8-based Apalis iMX8, among others.

RECS|Box Atlas Quad Apalis (left) and Toradex Apalis TK1 module
(click images to enlarge)

The Christmann RECS|Box systems include:

  • RECS|Box Atlas Quad Apalis evaluation platform — development board supporting up to 4x Apalis modules
  • RECS|Box Antares 19” 1RU server enclosure — holds up to 6x Atlas boards for up to 24x Apalis modules
  • RECS|Box Arneb 19” 1RU server enclosure — holds up to 18x Atlas boards for up to 72x Apalis modules

RECS|Box Antares

Developers can experiment with Apalis clustering projects on the RECS|Box Atlas, and then use the same board to help populate one of the server enclosures for deployment. Each Atlas board features dual switched Gigabit Ethernet ports — one for “compute” and one for “management.” You also get KVM (Keyboard-Video-Mouse) switching for the available HDMI port and 3x USB ports.

Partial view of RECS|Box Arneb

The Atlas board is further equipped with monitoring features including a fan-speed monitor, voltage monitor, 5x temperature sensors, and 6x current sensors. Other features include a micro-USB port for connecting to a desktop PC for control. The 190 x 130 x 65mm board also supplies a 12V power jack, 4x fan connectors, a USB-to-RS232 transceiver, 5x LEDs, and an acrylic glass mounting plate.

RECS|Box Atlas port view (left) and closeup showing micro-USB port
(click images to enlarge)

The RECS|Box Antares server enclosure holds up to 6x Atlas boards and measures 744 x 482 x 44mm. The system runs on 110-230 AC power, and features up to 11x GbE ports, an LCD display, and various buttons. The RECS|Box Arneb model triples the Antares capability, and is supported with an external 1HE 3kW power supply.

With the Apalis TK1, the RECS|Box Arneb can cluster a total of 288 ARM cores and 13,824 Kepler cores, says Toradex. The Apalis TK1 features an Nvidia Tegra K1 with 4x Cortex-A15 cores and a 192-core, CUDA-programmable Mobile Kepler GPU. The CPU and GPU can share data thanks to a unified memory architecture.

RECS|Box monitoring and control software
(click images to enlarge)

The RECS|Box systems ship with monitoring and control software available for Linux, Windows, and Mac systems. The software includes a RESTful API, as well as a WebGUI interface that can be used in a browser over Nagios.


Further information

The RECS|Box Atlas Quad Apalis Evaluation platform is available for 1,275 Euros ($1,385) without the Apalis modules. No pricing was listed for the RECS|Box Antares and Arneb 19” 1RU server enclosures. More information may be found at Toradex’s Atlas and Antares product pages, which link to product pages on Christmann’s website. Toradex is demonstrating the RECS|Box system through May 11 at the GPU Technology Conference at the San Jose Convention Center.

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