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PS3 becomes super computer

by on18 October 2007


Looks at gravity of the situation


A scientist was so angry that he could not afford a supercomputer to look at the power of gravity waves that he has built one using eight Sony PS3s.

Dr. Gaurav Khanna is using the cluster of eight interlinked PS3s to look at gravitational waves and what happens when a super-massive black hole swallows up a star. He used the PS3 because it was a relatively open platform, which made programming scientific applications easy.

He also says that the console's Cell processor, co-developed by Sony, IBM and Toshiba, can deliver massive amounts of power, comparable even to that of a supercomputer. That is, it can if you know how to optimize code and have a few extra consoles lying around that you can string together.

Running the same data on a supercomputer would cost $5,000 at a time and Dr. Khanna did not have that much grant money. However, running the same programs on eight 60GB PS3s will cost just $3,200.

He didn't think he could get his university to supply the money for gaming consoles, so he asked Sony. Once he showed them his tweaked supercomputer Cell code they are now interested in backing him.

More here.

Last modified on 19 October 2007
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