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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 Trisped on 4/12/2007 6:14:29 PM , Rating: 3
Important points:
Sony is once again trying to make their console processor sound like it is incredibly powerful, just like when they spread the idea that the PS2 processor was too powerful to leave Japan for military purposes.
So Sony is going to pay you to leave your console on. How much will they pay you and how much will they keep for themselves? Does this make them a pimp and the PS3 owners whores? Think about it, they will be making money selling the right to use your hardware and electricity to satisfy someone else’s needs.
How much will it cost in power to run these things all the time?
From the previously posed folding numbers GPUs average 0.0585 TFLOPS (41 TFLOPS on 700 active processors) and the PS3 CELL processors average 0.0245 TFLOPS (367 TFLOPS on 14971 processors). That is an average of 2.39x the processing on a GPU vs a PS3. Numbers current with posting are 57 TFLOPS for 971 GPUs averaging .587 and 261 TFLOPS on 19896 Active PS3s coming in at a whopping 4.47x the processing on a GPU vs a PS3. And to make numbers worse, the PS3s are marked as inactive if they haven’t posted in 2 days, but the GPUs are marked inactive if they haven’t posted results in 10. In this way PS3 numbers are boosted, as those systems that don’t do much work don’t count against the power per core average.
So if the folding numbers indicate such a huge value from a GPU folding, why doesn’t the PS3 GPU fold too?

Personally it sounds like a bunch of smoke and mirrors to make the PS3 look larger then it really is. Every time I see someone trying so hard to make something look good, I start to wonder if they are hiding anything. After all, should we be able to see the value of a system without such extreme help from a biased source?




By lukasbradley on 4/12/2007 7:04:06 PM , Rating: 5
It got your attention, you read it, and are commenting. If what you say is true, then it worked.


By Vinnybcfc on 4/14/2007 9:53:25 AM , Rating: 2
The PS3 cant GPU fold it is based on a Geforce 7


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