PS3 network supercomputer named world's most powerful

PS3 network supercomputer named world's most powerful

Summary: Not by Jack Dongarra and the LINpack benchmarkThe Guinness Book of Records, the unimpeachable source for all things drinkers might bet on, has listed Stanford's Folding@Home network of distributed PS3's as the world's ". .

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TOPICS: Health, Networking
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Not by Jack Dongarra and the LINpack benchmark The Guinness Book of Records, the unimpeachable source for all things drinkers might bet on, has listed Stanford's Folding@Home network of distributed PS3's as the world's ". . .powerful distributed computing network."

Yes, you can do real science on a PS3 The BBC article goes on to say

FAH has signed up nearly 700,000 PS3s to examine how the shape of proteins affect diseases such as Alzheimer's.

The network has more than one petaflop of computing power - the equivalent of 1,000 trillion calculations per second.

One petaflop, that is, after everyone stops playing Guitar Hero and Resistance: Fall of Man.

Protein folding is huge The advent of mad-cow disease disclosed a new way to get dead: prions. According to the Centers for Disease Control:

Prion diseases . . . are a family of rare progressive neurodegenerative disorders that affect both humans and animals. . . . A prion is an abnormal, transmissible agent that is able to induce abnormal folding of normal cellular prion proteins in the brain, leading to brain damage . . . . Prion diseases are usually rapidly progressive and always fatal.

[emphasis added]

F@H may run on Playstation 3's, but the problem of protein-based disease is no game.

Learn more about the PS3 supercomputer - including setting up your own 8-node cluster - in this article.

Topics: Health, Networking

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4 comments
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  • I thought the debate...

    with the PS3 as a supercomputer platform was centered around how it has good
    'paper' performance, but due to its non-64 'bitness' and narrow pipes - it was not a
    viable node, as it may have the hertz but not the actual meat for high-performance
    math, which is what is was not built to do (clearly).

    correct me if i'm wrong about the technical details...
    crampy20
    • The PS3 is not a general purpose supercomputer

      If there is such a thing. But for certain kinds of work it is excellent.

      The Stanford team measures performance from the software, so they don't get caught
      up in theoretical measures of goodness. They know about how many cycles it takes to
      do something and that is what they measure.

      Robin
      R Harris
    • But, but

      They seemed to overcome the PS3's faults by using nearly three quarters of a million of them. That many VIC-20's would be powerful.
      Larry the Security Guy
  • PS3 availability

    Now we know who to blame for (part of) the lack of availability of the PS3. :-P
    HobbesPDX