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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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RE: Electricity Cost vs Payments
By feelingshorter on 4/13/2007 1:33:26 AM , Rating: 2
Well, reliability depends on many factors. I also had a Packard Bell PC with 6-7 years on it before we just threw it away. But PCs back then were much simpler, and barely produced much heat. My last 3 PCs after the Packard Bell died in 4-5 years, to the one I'm using now. Two of which I built myself and one was an e-machine (crappy, I know thats why it died). I'm pretty sure why my computers died: heat. Those AMD 2200+...

Anyways, the thing about the PS3 is that it has no power saving features, according to an anandtech article. In fact, running Folding@home or not still produces the same watt usage. Whats weird is that, according to the anandtech article, the PS3 uses the most watts when your playing music with visualization on? I'm too lazy to find the article again. So I'm not sure comparing the PS3 to a PC is fair since even PCs have stages in which the processor slows down and uses less electricity. The cell proc uses about ~200 watts I believe (not sure). It probably won't break but the chipsets in the PS3 might, unless it has very good cooling.

RE: Electricity Cost vs Payments
By MonkeyPaw on 4/13/2007 7:48:52 AM , Rating: 2
It may not have any power saving features, but running any chip at load produces more heat, power saving features or not. K7s and P4s had an idle temperature and a load temperature before things like C'nQ or SS. Idle transistors are cooler than active ones.

"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan
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