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The PlayStation Supercomputer

The chip that started in the PlayStation 3 ended up in the world’s fastest supercomputer, and heralded a heterogeneous computing future

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datacenterdynamics.com
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Nyxus8d ago

The PlayStation 3 was an awesome system.

Teddybee8d ago

Even though it makes sense for current consoles to pursue a more PC-like architecture, I always loved the ambition of the cell chip, and it's a shame stuff like that didn't continue

sprinterboy8d ago

I've always wondered what ps4 games would have looked like if they'd stuck with the cell with 8gb of ram?

getbacktogaming8d ago

It would have continued if it fared better... the PS3 had a good run, but a much slower start than the PS4 in part due to price, difficulty porting games etc... I owned both Xbox and PS3 last gen an I ended up getting a lot of third party games on Xbox for slightly better graphics (!), controller, etc. This time around i feel it's the opposite, I'd rather play everything the Sony console! :D no shame in the cell chip not continuing in my book :)

Teddybee8d ago

Well like the article says, they considered a Cell 2, which would have been even more powerful. That and a bunch of ram? That sure would have been something...

xtheblackparade8d ago

Yeah I hope this wasn't a case where greed hindered technological progression. There's so many stories of companies picking one technology over the other because certain people that were in control could make more money choosing the inferior option :(

Teddybee8d ago

I think it was less greed over profits, but rather pure survival. There was a period in the PS3's life where it was burning through money and developers were struggling - all while the rest of Sony was struggling.

Over the next few years, the PS3 built up momentum, and ended pretty strongly, but it was during that fateful period when Sony were considering to make another Cell, and I think the thought of putting down another $400m for a chip just seemed too risky. And, from a business perspective, no one can fault what they did with the PS4 - with the console now the centerpiece of Sony's comeback strategy.

rainslacker7d ago

Most of what made CELL unique for gaming is now used in GPU's for GPU compute. IT's not quite as streamlined as it was in the CELL, but it's still there.

If CELL continued, then it'd be massively more capable in a lot of things like physics, lighting, and shading than what we see with current GPU's, but current CPU/GPU combinations tend to be better at the more general purpose and more often used things you see in modern gaming.

CELL was built for the way the development cycle was headed, and Sony doesn't get enough credit for thinking ahead like that.

But yeah, it wouldn't make much sense to keep pushing CELL tech, since current CPU's and GPU's are more than capable.

FinalFantasyFanatic7d ago

It might have been the better technology but certainly not the best choice for Sony, it cost them badly last gen with the cost and difficulty developing for it.

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chrisx8d ago

indeed. I still value my classic fat Ps3, still play on it till this day.

Magnus8d ago

PS3 was an awesome system PS3 is an awesome system

SuperSonic918d ago (Edited 8d ago )

So many great game times with me PS3.
So close to me heart Uncharted, Sonic, Gundam,

The Come Back King of Gaming!!!!!!!
Woohooo!

DivineAssault 7d ago

Disagree. It was a complex mess created to make it harder for the competition to get the software and it backfired. Sony is my favorite game company followed by nintendo but i wont deny their flaws/screw ups.

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DigitalRaptor8d ago (Edited 8d ago )

Apart from its games, I loved the PS3 for how strange it (or Sony) could be:

Cell Processor, PlayStation Home, the Spider-Man font, the boomerang controller, Wonderbook, Kevin Butler.

sprinterboy8d ago (Edited 8d ago )

Playstation home was great especially that XI puzzle community game. Met so many gamers solving the puzzles together.

Edit even [email protected] I felt like I was contributing to finding cures for deseases.

Teddybee8d ago

Strange Sony is the best Sony

franwex8d ago

“Black holes can dodge bullets” thanks to the PS3!

Cobra9518d ago

I learned something new today. Cluster of PS3s = cheap, efficient, capable super-computer. Never woulda thunk.

Mmmkay8d ago

The US Army had lots to make a super computer.
"Made of 1,760 PlayStation 3 processors and 168 general purpose processors, the Condor Cluster provides extreme power for its relatively low cost. It has the ability to calculate 500 trillion floating point operations per second (TFLOPS), but was made for $2 million thanks to the cost of the PS3."

Elwenil8d ago

That was the US Air Force, not the US Army.

Teddybee8d ago

Crazy to think there's still a cluster of PS3s still running too, that's some legs right there

Cmv388d ago

Some times I wish Sony was in a position to take risk like this from a gaming standpoint again. Ps3 was a great system. But pc architecture is almost mandatory at this point

Teddybee8d ago

Yeah, despite the success of the PS4, sadly I can't ever see anyone taking a risk like this again. For as long as home consoles exists, I think they'll rely on mostly off the shelf tech from this point on

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