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After the success of the non-profit Folding@home project, Sony is interested in leasing out computing power to companies willing to pay

Sony is interested in offering discounts and other incentives to have PlayStation 3 owners create a type of supercomputer grid that can be utilized by businesses.  A number of companies -- especially those working in the medical and pharmaceutical industries -- are interested in harnessing the power from PS3s instead of paying outright for a supercomputer.  Sony would likely have to pay users to keep the PS3 running all the time for the benefit of paying businesses.

Sony is unsure how many PS3 owners will be interested in having someone utilize the computer power of their PS3.  Sony spokespeople said the plan is still in the research stage, so types of incentives and which companies are interested have not been announced.  Discounts on products, free downloads, exclusive content, and points are all possible incentives PS3 owners might receive.

The PlayStation 3 is the main choice for supercomputing since Sony's next-generation console has so much processing power, courtesy of the IBM Cell processor.  A newtork of 10,000 PS3s has the power equivalent to 200,000 home PCs, Sony claims.  

Reports were published last month that showed PlayStation 3 game consoles would be able to participate in Stanford University's Folding@ home program -- a popular distributed computing project that uses the processing power for biomedical research.

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By crazydrummer4562 on 4/12/2007 5:52:01 PM , Rating: 1
"A newtork of 10,000 PS3s has the power equivalent to 200,000 home PCs, Sony claims."

I'd like to see what kind of home pc they were referring to...a Celeron with 256mb of RAM possibly? I know quite a few people who own computers that would utterly obliterate a PS3 in terms of computing power, hell my own setup with a core 2 duo might do the job, not to imply that most computer owners have high end rigs.

RE: err...
By Armorize on 4/12/2007 8:51:08 PM , Rating: 2
"A newtork of 10,000 PS3s" did you mean newTORQUE? oooh network =P

RE: err...
By walk2k on 4/12/2007 10:05:11 PM , Rating: 2
Well you would be delusional then because the Cell is about 30x faster than the most advanced PC CPU for these types of operations.

RE: err...
By OxBow on 4/13/2007 12:40:00 PM , Rating: 2
The PC baseline they use are the PC's who presently contribute to F@H. That's 200,000+ machines they are averaging out.

While a new, dual core gaming rig might be faster than this "average," it still isn't approaching the capabilities of cell IN THIS APPLICATION. Stanfords been quite clear that the cell processor is very adept at certain folding tasks (not all) and in this category performs 30 times faster than the average PC contribution.

They also have GPU's contributing that blow the Cell out of the water, but the processes they can work are are significantly more narrow than the Cell. As such, Stanford needs a lot of PC's for some tasks, fewer but still a lot of PS3's for other jobs, and a few GPU's for a select minority of jobs.

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov
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