Clusters for Nothing and Nodes for Free

When the users are away, your company's legacy desktop systems can become a powerful temporary Linux cluster.
Further Logic Plans

Our next step in supporting QM's logic simulation needs is to use co-simulation, in which a regression test runs in real time on programmable logic chips. The testing speed is impressive too, because it eliminates the factor of a million speed ratio of simulation. Allowing for the co-simulation support logic, which also has to be placed in the programmable chip, about 10% of the logic can be tested at once. Therefore, each chip can execute tests as fast as a 50,000-node cluster.

No changes to the Linux and cluster configuration are necessary, but open-source tools are critical to keeping the process simple. Every test has to be processed by the place-and-route tools before execution, the test benches have to be written in a special way and a new level of data organization tracks all work in progress.


LTSP runs well within a Windows network and makes it easy to deploy software temporarily across the whole company without modifying the hard drives. Deploying Icarus on the OpenMosix cluster saved months of development time and ensured a more reliable product. The flexibility of open-source components increased our productivity, and the availability of our cluster enhances our corporate capabilities.

Resources for this article: /article/7553.

Dr Alexander Perry ( is principal engineer at Quantum Magnetics in San Diego, California.

Hoke Trammell ( is a staff scientist for Electromagnetic Sensing at Quantum Magnetics.

David Haynes ( is corporate Network Administrator at Quantum Magnetics.