A sub-$4,000 supercomputer?

Supercomputing in education is a brand-new game thanks to a cluster of Sony PlayStation 3 (PS3) consoles and some creative thinking.

In 2005, when University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth physics professor Guarav Khanna first learned of Sony's plans to release a new open-platform PlayStation device with a high-power microprocessor, or a "Cell Broadband Engine," he had a feeling the new video-game console would hold great promise beyond gaming.

Now, Khanna's suspicions have paid off, as he conducts high-level scientific research on a supercomputer he built with his colleague Glen Volkema late last year, using a cluster of eight PS3 consoles running Linux.

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Blackmoses4667d ago

A cluster of 8 PS3's...this dude really loves him some Rachet and Clank!!!!

anh_duong4667d ago (Edited 4667d ago )

i wonder if i can cluster my two ps3, two ps2 and two psp and one original xbox together into a supercomputer.. don't think i will bother with clustering my ds though..

Bebedora4667d ago

They still tout the PS3 to cost Sony $800. That is old now, isn't it?

VigorousApathy4667d ago

Yeah it cost 800 when it first came out it should be half that by now. But if you think about it the number may still have some validity since if they were manufacturing the PS3 like a normal computer for the first time instead of mass producing it on a large scale for years like they have its equivalent cost might still be around $800.

drewdrakes4667d ago

They calculated it at 500 dollars. At 800 dollars that would be 6400 dollars for 8 PS3's.

ravinash4667d ago

I think Sony have plans to release proper PCs that use the Cell, so that will probably be more useful when it comes to putting PS3 in the class room.
Plus the whole idea of selling PS3 at a lower price than what it costs to build them is so there are more people to buy games.
While its great that it being used for science, I'm sure Sony would rather scientific institutions paid the full cost of production as they won't be buying any games.
But I'm sure they can come to some understanding.

mighty_douche4667d ago

well its already been stated that they are designing servers which use both the Cell and the RSX (not sure why a Server needs a GPU?) so im sure complete PC's will follow soon.

Wonder which OS they will use, Linux i guess?

BobDog4667d ago

gpu's can do calculations faster then the cell, but the calculations they can do are more limited, were as the cell can do more types but slower, were as the normal cpu is very slow but has a very large range of calculations.

that is the reason why people are making ps3 super computers, because it is the middle ground

ravinash4667d ago (Edited 4667d ago )

yeah, the cost production for the Cell has gone why down because they can produce a lot more of them.
Plus because Blueray is doing so well, they can save cost on mass production on that as well.
infact the last reports were the cost of production had falling below the sale price....but then again that could mean another price who knows.

Qbanboi4667d ago

Wow, haven't seen a joke saying "I does everything exect play game" yet. Damn, maybe the fanboys are dying. :D

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