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Puzzlecluster: The supercomputer made from recycled phone modules

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Saving the planet one phone at a time

The likes of Project Ara and PuzzlePhone are about to make modular smartphones A Thing. Rather than waste old modules, PuzzlePhone wants to make a supercomputer out of them.

It's just a concept at the moment, but it's a doozy. Called the Puzzlecluster, it looks a bit like a toaster that you slot the mobile modules into. However, it will only take the Brain CPU module and Battery module, so you can't put in your camera if you upgrade.

The idea is to make cheap PCs for the home, small and medium businesses, public institutions and data centres. Circular Devices – the company behind PuzzlePhone – says its uses could range from research and data analysis to rendering farms and in-house cloud services.

Daisy chain a few of them together, and you could have some serious power at your fingertips.

Read more: Google teases new Project Ara phones

Not only would it make for cheap PCs, it would also be environmentally friendly.

"When developing the PuzzlePhone, we always think about the whole cycle, from sourcing components to manufacturing, the device use itself and what to do when the time to upgrade comes," Alejandro Santacreu, CEO of Circular Devices, said in a statement.

"The PuzzlePhone Brain is a fully functional low-power computer ready to be integrated in the Puzzlecluster. It makes no sense to discard a perfectly working computer just because you have upgraded your smartphone.

"The Puzzlecluster will extend the usable life of the PuzzlePhone Brain modules way beyond any other smartphone processor."

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