For most, PS3 is just a gaming wonder with infinite gaming possibilities. But, for corporates and personal supercomputer enthusiasts its a processing powerhouse.
In past we’ve had shown you how you can build a supercomputer using PS3, better than your government has. The secret lies in the Cell processor developed Jointly by IBM, Sony, toshiba.
USAF had purchased 300 PlayStation 3s back in March 2008, for building their cheap supercomputer. As per our sources, they already employ PS3 cluster for research into high-def (HD) video processing. With the current purchase of 2,200 PS3s, the Air Force Research Lab wants to expand the horizon, embedding more capabilities to the Super compute Cluster.
Sony’s Cell processor is cheap, power efficient and an efficient Teraflop processing beast hidden under a gaming console. To give you an idea of the power of cell processor we will digg down into details, a bit.
The Cell processor consists of a general-purpose POWERPC processor core connected to 8 special-purpose DSP cores. IBM calls these cores “synergistic processing elements” (SPE). Each of these cores/SPEs are capable of running at 4GHz, thought they have been underclocked in PS3 to meet the power efficiency. These processors are roughly “10 times the performance of the latest PC processors.” as per IBM.
The Capacity is enough to encode TrueHD video stream LIVE, on the fly which none of the desktop/server CPUs can dream of. When compared with Xbox, PS3 falls back on GPU power, but overall they equal as far as gaming is concerned.
So have you ever built a PS3 cluster or atleast contriubuted to SETI @Home project? Let us know of your experience.