NC University prof created a supercomputer using eight PS3 units

Frank Mueller with the PS3 supercomputing cluster - Image 1 This should make every single PS3 fan proud and happy. Over at North Carolina State University, Computer Science Associate Professor Dr. Frank Mueller has built a supercomputing academic cluster using eight PlayStation 3 consoles.

Being the first of its kind in the world, the set up costs around US$ 5,000 and is capable of high-performance computing. Mueller explained though that clusters is not an entirely new concept in the computing world.

Prominent businesses that use such setups include online site Google, the stock market, automotive design companies, and even scientists themselves. The professor remarked,

Scientific computing is just number crunching, which the PS3s are very good at given the Cell processor and deploying them in a cluster. Right now one limitation is the 512 megabyte RAM memory constraint, but it might be possible to retrofit more RAM. We just haven’t cracked the case and explored that option yet.

Just so you guys have an idea how powerful the PS3 cluster is, take note that there is actually a list of the top 500 fastest computers in the world. The fastest is BlueGene/L, with more than 130,000 processors, at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

The setup designed by Mueller doesn’t break into the top 500 though. But quite interestingly, the professor added that with approximately 10,000 PS3 machines, anyone could create the fastest computer in the world. Lastly, Mueller shared that they will be exploring ways on how to fully use this setup:

Here at NC State, we will use it for educational purposes and for research. We are working with scientists to determine the needs and how our cluster can be used to their benefit, and our computer science faculty is already using the cluster to teach classes in operating systems, with parallel systems, compilers and gaming likely to follow.

Via PhysOrg

Frank Mueller with the PS3 supercomputing cluster - Image 1 This should make every single PS3 fan proud and happy. Over at North Carolina State University, Computer Science Associate Professor Dr. Frank Mueller has built a supercomputing academic cluster using eight PlayStation 3 consoles.

Being the first of its kind in the world, the set up costs around US$ 5,000 and is capable of high-performance computing. Mueller explained though that clusters is not an entirely new concept in the computing world.

Prominent businesses that use such setups include online site Google, the stock market, automotive design companies, and even scientists themselves. The professor remarked,

Scientific computing is just number crunching, which the PS3s are very good at given the Cell processor and deploying them in a cluster. Right now one limitation is the 512 megabyte RAM memory constraint, but it might be possible to retrofit more RAM. We just haven’t cracked the case and explored that option yet.

Just so you guys have an idea how powerful the PS3 cluster is, take note that there is actually a list of the top 500 fastest computers in the world. The fastest is BlueGene/L, with more than 130,000 processors, at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

The setup designed by Mueller doesn’t break into the top 500 though. But quite interestingly, the professor added that with approximately 10,000 PS3 machines, anyone could create the fastest computer in the world. Lastly, Mueller shared that they will be exploring ways on how to fully use this setup:

Here at NC State, we will use it for educational purposes and for research. We are working with scientists to determine the needs and how our cluster can be used to their benefit, and our computer science faculty is already using the cluster to teach classes in operating systems, with parallel systems, compilers and gaming likely to follow.

Via PhysOrg

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