Sony to Offer PlayStation 3 Supercomputing Grid
April 12, 2007 2:06 PM
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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.
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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4/13/2007 12:40:00 PM
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.
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