Turing Pi 2 crowdfunding goal smashed within a day

Go host yourself with a tiny low-powered Arm cluster in a box for $219


The Turing Pi 2 crowdfunding campaign has soared passed its $64,000 goal in a single day, currently standing at $1,027,428 with more than 3,400 backers.

Early-bird backers will be able to build their own Arm cluster in a box for $199 (compute modules come extra). Now the entry-level pledge stands at $219 for one Turing Pi 2 Cluster Board.

We covered the Turing Pi 2 at the end of last year and at last the waiting is over – in principle at least. It has been a year and a half since Turing Machines initially announced the product, and a good nine months since it published the specifications.

The Turing Pi 2 supports the Raspberry Pi 4 Compute Module (CM4) via a $10 carrier board. However, the CM4 is out of stock at most places we looked, so unless you happen to have a couple just lying around, you might need to look towards some of the other supported processor modules.

The good news is that there are a variety of them, and some of them are in stock in a few places online. The bad news is that they cost substantially more than the budget Raspberry Pi range… which may, of course, be why they are still in stock.

Alongside the RasPi CM4, Turing Machines' latest announcement also described its own RK1 processor module, which is to have a Rockchip RK3588 SoC, with four Arm Cortex-A76 performance cores and four Cortex-A55 efficiency cores and up to 32GB of RAM. We don't yet have definite pricing for this, but the company told us that they hoped it would be in the region of $150 for a module, with 16GB of LPDDR4 RAM and 16GB of eMMC onboard storage.

As well as these, the Turing Pi 2 also supports three different Nvidia Jetson development boards: the Nano, TX2 NX, and Xavier NX. We found the latter two models on sale online at a bargain-tastic $260 and $730 respectively.

This is a Kickstarter campaign so you should not expect shipping to be immediate. Possibly, by the time stock is available, there will be a selection of brains to choose from.

According to the company's short list of FAQs, it is possible to run with a mixture of dissimilar boards, and Turing Machines confirmed to us that "you can start even with one compute module, though it does not make much sense."

It added: "In order to build a Kubernetes cluster, it's recommended to have at least three nodes. Getting the CM4 is a bit challenging right now; however, we are building relationships with the largest suppliers and the RPi Foundation to be able to secure compute modules for every backer who needs them."

In addition to the board and some compute modules, you will also need a mini-ITX case to house the system, a power supply, and probably some additional shared storage for your micro-cluster.

This isn't going to be the cheapest way to build your own K8s cluster, but on the other hand, it will be one of the smallest, quietest, and lowest power-consumption clusters out there, so it will be one of the cheapest to run. ®

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