04 February 2010

FIST Supercomputer

The Air Force Research Lab in Rome NY is currently hooking together over 2,000 PlayStation 3's in order to "create a supercomputer nearly 100,000 times faster than high-end computer processors sold today." They're calling it the 500 TeraFLOPS Heterogeneous Cluster

To accomplish this feat, researchers are using off-the-shelf components, including ordinary metal shelving to hold the PS3's (instead of the traditional computer racks, which are much more expensive but would be overkill). The system is running Linux, the free open source OS. And for the environmentalists out there, the cluster will consume about 300 kilowatts. Most supercomputers use 5 megawatts.

It'll operate at a cost of $2-3 per gigaFLOPS, and when it's all done, it'll handle 500 teraFLOPS.

I love it when project leaders brag about how inexpensive and simple their system is, along with explaining how its performance is cutting-edge.

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