Remember how the US Air Force bought a ton of PlayStation 3 consoles then strung them together? Ever wonder just why the military would do a thing like that? Well, it's not for playing Killzone on.
Indeed, you couldn't play it - or any other disc-based PS3 game - if you tried, as every PS3 you see pictured above has had its Blu-ray drive functionality removed.
In all, 1760 consoles have been joined with "168 separate graphical processing units and 84 coordinating servers" to form what the Air Force is calling "the fastest interactive computer in the entire Defense Department". It's also, the military claims, the 33rd largest computer of any kind in the world.
This "rat king" of PlayStation 3s will be used for things like research into AI, fast processing of satellite pictures and the enhancement of radar.
Interestingly, despite only recently going online with this monstrosity, the Air Force Research Lab's Mark Barnell recognises that the Cell technology powering the PS3 is no longer the bees knees, and says "we're looking forward to working with the next generation of architecture".
Which is formal talk for "we're looking forward to going out and buying 2000 PlayStation 4s in a few years time".
Defense Department discusses new Sony PlayStation supercomputer [Cleveland.com, via Gamasutra]
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Your version of Internet Explorer is not supported. Please upgrade to the most recent version in order to view comments.The Air Force thought about stringing together XBOX 360's...but in the end they decided against purchasing 1760 subscriptions to XBOX Live.
zing pow Reply
I'm pretty sure this Monstrosity could revive Hitler and bring him back to life. Reply
I can't wait till they create a microchip that's more powerful than all those ps3's combined ReplyNerD:blogOtaku approved this comment
I cannot imagine why the military would do something like this. Why not buy a bunch of high-end computer parts instead? ReplyNerD:blogOtaku promoted this comment
I'd hope they had these ones custom made for them otherwise they're hardly tapping its potential... If they want full access to its abilities, they could get something like an IBM System X or Z, a Mercury server, or Sony's worst promoted product ever, a rackmount workstation that is basically like a PS3 with full access to the CPU and GPU - I can't find any evidence that it even existed, but for a while they had it on their American site, and an error page if you viewed it from Canada... Reply
What if I strung loads of XBOX's together? I doubt it will be as powerful.
And I hope that place is very very well air conditioned, I'd hate to see them all get the YLOD at once. Reply
ReplyChewyChavezIII promoted this comment
I wonder what firmware version they're running, given the recent removal of Linux support. Reply
Those racks are from Home Depot. I use one in my kitchen for plates, pots and the likes. They're pretty heavy duty.
You can have them either static, as I do, or with casters as the USAF do. I guess they have more need for mobility with todays battlefields.
They also come in matt black, although I prefer the chrome look.
I'm such a shelving whore. Reply
What happened with the Air Force's suit(?) against Sony regarding Linux functionality? Reply
The 2nd most powerful computer in all time and space being Deep Thought. Only bested by "Earth" itself. Reply
+1 for "rat king" reference
+1 for anyone who knows what a rat king is. Reply
Since those are all the 'fat' models of PS3s, I wonder if they are having issues with them going YLOD? ReplyAzel approved this comment
Am I the only one that finds it amusing that the shot in the video screen is from Terminator 2? ReplyDuuuuuuude approved this comment
Thursday, December 2, 2010
This Stack Of PS3s Is The 33rd Biggest Computer In The World