We’ve routinely joked in the past about “playstation® Climatology”, a phrase coined by JunkScience.com a few years back in response to the constant barrage of model output from supercomputers worldwide that forecast doom and gloom ahead for the human condition if we don’t repent and stop our use of fire.
Well now, the Air Force’s Research Lab in Rome, NY actually went and made a PS3 based supercomputer.from Slashdot:
The Air Force’s Research Lab in Rome, NY. has one of the cheapest supercomputers ever made, and best of all over 3,000 of your friends can play Tekken on it. The computer is made from 1,716 PlayStation 3s linked together, and is used to process images from spy planes. From the article: “The Air Force calls the souped-up PlayStations the Condor Supercomputer and says it is among the 40 fastest computers in the world. The Condor went online late last year, and it will likely change the way the Air Force and the Air National Guard watch things on the ground.
Here’s the systems before they were wired up:
Here’s what the Air Force says about the computing power:
53 TERAFLOPS Cell Broadband Engine (CBE) Cluster: This cluster
enabled early access to IBM’s CBE® chip technology included
in the low priced commodity PS3 gaming consoles. This is a
heterogeneous cluster with powerful sub-cluster head nodes. The
cluster is comprised of 14 sub-clusters, each with 24 PS3s, and
one server containing dual quad-core Xeon chips.
Full writeup here