Playstation 3 Makes Science Happen!

Some gamers may think that all there is to being a scientist is brandishing a blood-drenched crowbar in a crowd full of zombines or tossing around crates and sawblades using a cool gun and Asshole Physics™, but real ones are taking advantage of the Playstation 3 to complete some truly amazing experiments.

We all know what wonders the console has already done for cancer research with Folding@Home, helping the project cross the massive petaflop barrier just a month ago. Instead of distributing the workload amongst thousands of consoles worldwide, astrophysicist Gaurav Khanna decided to cluster eight PS3s together as a cheap, but potentially more effective, alternative to the supercomputers he’s used before. According to the article on Wired, each use of a supercomputer to run his computations cost about $5000, while his console farm runs about $3200 for a permanent setup.

Perhaps the coolest part of all is that Sony agreed to supply Khanna with all eight of his PS3s for free once he proved to them what just one could do for his experiment. The astrophysicist is using his own modified Linux code, in conjunction with the “Gravity Grid” (as he calls it), to “see if gravitational waves, which have been postulated for almost 100 years but have never been observed, are strong enough that we could actually observe them one day.”

Great stuff, and a real testament to the power of the CELL processor. Now if only more game developers would actually bother to learn and use it, instead of bitching about how much of a “waste of everybody’s time” it is (luv u Gabe, moar Portal plzkthx).


~ by Cavin Smith on October 17, 2007.

2 Responses to “Playstation 3 Makes Science Happen!”

  1. Thanks for sharing such a great information

  2. That really is kind of Sony to include this on their systems! Just another kind gesture from one of the best companies.

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