Putting the PS3's brain to work

Ars Technica writes: "One major trend in the last few decades of computer simulation has involved the transition from ever-faster single processors to larger multiprocessor systems. Large scale multiprocessor systems present a wide range of options to scientific users. They can range from collections of highly specialized processors that are designed to carry out a specific computation-RIKEN-BNL for quantum chromodynamics computations, or GRAPE-DR for N-body problems-to a Beowulf cluster made up of different types of old, discarded desktops. An article in the current issue of Physical Review E examines the performance of Cell processors when they're used in computer simulations. The authors compare two Cell setups: a Sony PlayStation 3 (best performance per dollar) and a QS20/QS21 IBM blade server (best in terms of raw performance)."

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demoneyeslaharl3682d ago

Think my brain just imploded...

Darkseider3682d ago

For once a nice little article about the Cell. What was truly amazing was that using only ONE SPE it was approx. 25% faster than a 2.4 Ghz Dual Core2 Duo. Granted the original Cell doesn't have the best double precision FP performance but I can live with that. The PowerXCell 8i, which powers the Roadrunner supecomputer, has the double precision stuff pretty well handled. The new Cell 2 which is going to be a 2x PPE/32 SPE unit is going to have the PowerXCell 8i's floating point prowess and then some as well.

These are exciting times in the computer industry and particularly in the processor market. I can only hope that other computer and software manufacturers see the Cell for what it really is and it becomes a mainstream desktop/laptop. If that were to happen we would enter the next age of computing.

Zorik43682d ago

The authors conclude that, even without the intrinsic support for double precision numerics, the Cell processor is becoming a powerhouse in the next generation of scientific high-performance computing
but not as good for videogames