Air Force To Expand PlayStation-Based Supercomputer writes: The U.S. Air Force is looking to buy 2,200 Sony PlayStation 3 game consoles to built out a research supercomputer, according to an document posted on the federal government's procurement Web site.

The PlayStation 3s will be used at the Air Force Research Laboratory's information directorate in Rome, N.Y., where they will be added to an existing cluster of 336 PlayStation 3s being used to conduct supercomputing research.

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Godmars2903163d ago (Edited 3163d ago )

IBM stopped Cell development, Sony might not be putting Cell tech in the PS4, yet the US military is buying PS3 to access their Cells for various applications.

And all fanboys can say is, "Cell iz dead! Cell Fail!"

Meanwhile the PS3 is still currently outselling the 360 which tells you the worth of fanboy arguments...

Alcohog3163d ago

Stopping cell development does not mean stopping cell production.

gaffyh3163d ago

@1.1 - Wow, someone who actually makes sense on N4G. Bubbles up to you!

On topic - It Only Does Everything :)

wxer3163d ago (Edited 3163d ago )

i agree with @ 1.1
just bare one thing in mind

the is more that one versions of the cell
and there is 3
one of them optimized for super computers ( IBM )
the other one for gaming ( Sony )
the last on for TVs ( Toshiba )

so IBM stopped with the super computer versions
that dose not mean that the gaming version or the TV version well be stopped

on topic
It Only Does Everything


mint royale3163d ago

+bubbles 1.1

Thats how you post a positive comment without having to resort to fanboy drivel like the OP does.

Hutch23553163d ago

The U.S. military will probably pay $50,000 for each one. Thats they way the U.S. govt likes to do things. lol

raztad3163d ago (Edited 3163d ago )

Actually is only IBM pulling out of cell development. Most probably Sony will continue doing research on its own.

For PC fans and the lame Thesithaxis site: Why the USA Air Force is gonna use 2200 PS3 instead of 2200 Intel most advanced processors if The cell is dead in the water?


Jealous much? why do you care about PS3 supposedly low attach ratio? I doubt you have fun when other gamers buy or play their games. And yeah, The PS3 is an incredible BluRay player. Awesome picture quality.

EDIT: Pretty retarded an lame answer. I'm not expecting more though. If that was the case why the xbox is not being used?

EDIT2: I agree that this topic is not gaming related, but just yesterday we went through two articles stating how dead The Cell was, so I guess this one is an interesting insight. And come on, buy that PS3, Demons Souls ALONE makes that purchase more than worthy. It will give you many hours of a pretty satisfying gaming experience.

Guitarded3163d ago (Edited 3163d ago )

It's no wonder PS3 attach rate is low. How many articles have there been stating companies/govt. agencies have bought PS3s as servers? How does this help the gaming industry? How does this help Sony? Never selling a game or movie for 2200 PS3s means this transaction cost Sony money unless they are now making a profit. They last announced they are still losing money on the PS3 shortly after it's release. This is not good news for Sony or gaming in general.

EDIT: The Air Force is using them because they are cheap and do the job they need done. Most things are cheaper towards the end of their life cycle.

EDIT2: Yes I am a little jealous of UC2 and Demon Souls. Not enough to buy a PS3 but jealous none the less. What does that have to do with my post or this article? Attach rate indicates the relative health of a systems gaming community. These systems sold won't add to the gaming community or the movie watching public for that matter. That makes it a relevant topic of discussion in a gaming forum.

EDIT3: The 360 was designed specifically as a gaming machine. The PS3 and the cell in particular were designed as multifunction media devices. That is why the cell is being used in other electronics and for other purposes. It was designed to.

commodore643163d ago (Edited 3163d ago )

@ guitarded.

dude, bubbles up.
Your post is full of facts and truthful honesty.
Wish we had more of your sort on here.

Alas, we have to make do with the ps3 fankids, who freak out the moment they hear what they don't want to hear.

ThanatosDMC3163d ago (Edited 3163d ago )

It really only does everything. I thought intel's new CPU were gonna beat the Cell... guess not.

^HAHAHA! If you think PS3 games only has U2 and Demon's Souls then, good for you i guess.

@ kwyjibo

That makes sense. HAHAHA! Bart's Scrabble word.

kwyjibo3163d ago (Edited 3163d ago )

"For PC fans and the lame Thesithaxis site: Why the USA Air Force is gonna use 2200 PS3 instead of 2200 Intel most advanced processors?"

It's because the PS3 is sold at a loss. Whereas Intel chips and their associated equipment are sold at a profit.

The price/performance ratio is going to look better on the PS3.

"I thought intel's new CPU were gonna beat the Cell."

You thought right. Core i7's and Core i9's would blitz the Cell in general purpose computing. The i9 has six general purpose cores.

commodore643163d ago

@ kwijibo

ANOTHER great post!

You are spot on dude.
The US airforce ain't stupid.
They know a good deal when they see it...

While Sony is pricing the cell below cost, the cell remains great value.
After all, at below cost, Sony is PAYING YOU to buy it!

That's the truth right there.

Guitarded3163d ago (Edited 3163d ago )

I've only recently begun to post thoughtful and less fanboyish comments and it's nice to see somebody notice.

@kwijibo. I agree with commodor64. Excellent post!

EDIT: No Thantos, I know there are more exclusive games. I just have no interest in any of them except UC2 and Demon Souls. Further more, a vast majority of non-exclusive games that I also like, play better on the 360 for more reasons than just graphics, so I have little incentive to spend almost $500 for a PS3 and two games plus tax. I'm sorry if that hurts your feelings.

EDIT2: That is incorrect raztad. The cell runs number crunching kind of code relatively easily. It is game code that is a chore to run on it. I'm lazy or I'd provide links. Google is our friend.

EDIT3: You ZBlacktt may be correct. Sonys first and second party studios have shown what the PS3 is capable of if you can spend lots of time and money on development of new engines to run on the jack of all trades and master on none PS3. Too bad it's not like last generation where third parties could actually afford to make their games better on the XBox then on PS2. Way better! More power is a wonderful thing, but only if it's cost effective to use.

raztad3163d ago (Edited 3163d ago )


I agree about the PS3 being an incredible value, a powerful machine costing less than a cheap Graphic card. That's something PC fans should remember every time they come up with stupid comparisons.

However I disagree that the USA AIR FORCE is just trying to save some bucks. LOL. Thats so funny. Do you think someone is gonna put him/herself into the nightmare to code for the PS3 unorthodox arch just to save some bucks? this is not a random individual getting a PS3, this is a powerful organization which happen to have HUGE budgets for this kind of stuff.

I guess that eventually some processor will beat the old Cell in raw calculation power, it's bound to happen but it's very telling it's taking more than 3 years already.

EDIT: The cell is pretty poor as a general purpose CPU. It's optimized for raw performance, number crunching for instance. The cell is more akin to a GPU than a regular PC cpu. This should give you a clue on why the Air Force is getting PS3s for its cluster.

ZBlacktt3163d ago

So in other words, the PS3 is the better more elite machine than the Xbox is just what you stated? I mean some already knew this. It's just nice to see a Xbox users finally be able to say it too.

Godmars2903163d ago

But how is Skynet suppose to have CPUs ready for the T series if humans don't do the research?

Boty3163d ago (Edited 3163d ago )

Jealous much? And did you know that a Supercomputer is different from a server? A super computer researches while a server serves information to its clients. Maybe you don't see the point this article is trying to say. To sum it up its saying that a VIDEO GAME CONSOLE is being BOUGHT BY THE U.S of FREAKING A to create a FREAKING SUPERCOMPUTER, and your ranting because 2,500 of the consoles won't be used to play games and movies? Your absolutely retarded.

A number of people are saying that the CELL is only good for "number crunching". Well Duh! What do you guys think a computer CPU processes? LETTERS? You guys make it sound like its a bad thing that the CELL is only made for Crunching Numbers. In fact Computers run on changes of state that are represented in Binary or "0"s and "1"s which are numbers. If anything the cell is able to do more at once due to the amount of cores. In fact I wouldn't want to buy a processor that isn't good at number crunching.

frostypants3163d ago (Edited 3163d ago )

I would wager that while the i7 and i9 are indeed better for general purpose computing, the Air Force's needs (and games, for that matter) don't fall under that category. If you took an i7/i9 and a Cell and had each run a game or anything else requiring raw number crunching power, without any GPU support, the Cell would still likely annihilate the latest Intel offerings.

Intel/AMD chips are designed under the assumption of pairing with a GPU. The Cell was not. In fact the original PS3 design called for a second Cell chip to handle graphics, instead of the GPU they have now. The only reason they didn't do so was cost and perhaps an effort to ease developer transition.

kwyjibo3163d ago

"However I disagree that the USA AIR FORCE is just trying to save some bucks. LOL. This is a powerful organization which happen to have HUGE budgets for this kind of stuff."

I mentioned the price/performance ratio of the PS3, price/performance is two words - they're worried about both.

The USAF might have big budgets, but they're getting squeezed and they're getting slashed. The cancellation of the Raptors shows you that.

You mentioned that the Cell is more akin to a GPU, well if price were not an issue - they'd get themselves the latest ATI 5x00s or nVidia Fermis. Hell, if price weren't the issue - they'd have just bought IBM cell blades!

sikbeta3163d ago (Edited 3163d ago )

Please kid, stop it, you don't care about the PS3, I don't know why are you making a post in an article related to PS3, you sure have a console, right?, why don't you go play a game, have some fun and let people that have interest in this article alone

About the article concerning to IBM and the CELL:

But, everyone above me, specially Alcohog got everything CLEAR, except Guitarded and commodore64 obviously

randomwiz3162d ago (Edited 3162d ago )

ibm stopping cell development means the ps3 cell processor won't get smaller than 45nm

+ Show (18) more repliesLast reply 3162d ago
Raf1k13163d ago

I guess it makes sense since a couple of thousand PS3s are cheaper than using a supercomputer. Supercomputers cost vast amounts of money to build and apparently even renting usage time is very costly.

Blaster_Master3163d ago

The power of the cell reigns supreme. LOL!

Godmars2903163d ago

Still you think hearing about something like this when the US military is known of buying $500 screwdrivers, IBM would dump a few million on lobbyist to make a few billion to "help" with research.

kraze073163d ago (Edited 3163d ago )

"Still you think hearing about something like this when the US military is known of buying $500 screwdrivers"

What! $500 screw drivers? Must've been the Air Force. I'm in the Navy and I can tell you I've never seen any overly expensive tools or anything like that. We don't even have internet access in the barracks where I'm at and we're just now getting a commisary.

Guido3163d ago

They wanted the most reliable platform to perform their computing needs. The PS3 is rock solid so I think it is safe to once again say, it only does everyting.

Hutch23553163d ago

and I saw them waste money like it was going out of style. We spent 5 million dollars to move our Battery from ft. sill Oklahoma down to White sands New mexico, just to spend a month in the field. It is the only place in the U.S. that you could live fire our Missiles. The first day in the field 30+ guys had heat exhaustion and so we spent a total of 3 days in the field and 27 days playing cards and screwing around in the barricks. 5 million for 3 days of work. Nice. So yes the Military spends money like its going out of style.

gamerdude113163d ago

I wonder how they are going to do this without any Linux support in the PS3?

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 3162d ago
U-asked-for-it3163d ago

unlike the trash box 3-60% :

Blaster_Master3163d ago

Wow, I was just being sarcastic, but whatever you say man.

oldsnayke3163d ago

you don't see the 360 being used by thet USAF, now do you? Imagine that... "HEY, MAN... CHECK OUT ALL OF THE INFORMATION WE'VE FOUND! *360 RROD* AHHH ****, THERE GOES FOUR MONTHS OF RESEARCH!"

Godmars2903163d ago

No general offense, but why use derivative tech when you have access to the real thing?