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View Full Version : Fastest Supercomputer to be built from Sony PlayStation 3 "cell"



jinjin
09-07-2006, 08:46 PM
The definition of a supercomputer is about to be redefined again. The next generation of supercomputer will run thousands of time faster than today's supercomputer, and its design utilizes the "cell" chip design for used in the Sony PlayStation 3.

This new supercomputer, Roadrunner, will be installed at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico. The laboratory is owned by the US Department of Energy (DOE). Eventually the machine could be used for a programme that ensures the US nuclear weapons stockpile remains safe and reliable. By using supercomputers to simulate how nuclear materials age, it may be possible to eliminate underground nuclear testing.

The new machine will be able to achieve "petaflop speeds". One petaflop is the equivalent of 1,000 trillion calculations per second. Running at peak speed, it will be able to crunch through 1.6 thousand trillion calculations per second. By comparison, the current fastest supercomputer BlueGene/L is capable of mere "teraflop" (trillion calculations per second) speeds.

The computer will contain 16,000 standard processors working alongside 16,000 "cell" processors, designed for the Sony PlayStation 3 (PS3).

Each cell chip consists of eight processors controlled by a master unit that can assign tasks to each member of the processing team. Each cell is capable of 256 billion calculations per second.

The power of the cell chip means Roadrunner needs far fewer processors than its predecessors.

(Click here for the complete article) (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/5322704.stm)

Mai Tokiha
09-07-2006, 08:51 PM
I see... so even if the PS3 *does* flop (which doesn't seem too unlikely now), at least it's cell chip will be good for something :grin:

solarenemy
09-07-2006, 09:06 PM
I wish that title was different. The PS3 is obviously no where near a super computer or even a home computer for that reason. Yes if the cell is used properly which sony is not doing it could in deed be a very powerful super computer. But the PS3 will just be an overpriced blu-ray player since sony hasnt properly utilized the cell. In fact it might be safer to use as a boat anchor or a toaster.

Atachi
09-07-2006, 09:07 PM
noone said, that Cell isn't good in itself... it's just not the right thing for an entertainment-device.


....and they again fail at mentioning, that those "256 billion calculations per second" are NOT 256 giga-flops, but a 256 billion maximum of vectoroperations per second. those are not generic operations like on plain integer/word/double/float or whatever basic numbertype!


edit: it's the usual "don't trust any statistics you didn't alter yourself"
2nd edit: "flop" as in "floating point operation"



and saying "calculation" to measure speed is damn wrong, too:
a calculation could be just 1+1 or (123^(12/35))*72.935
...the second would take muuuuch longer.
that's why speed is effectively measured in operations [object operator object = term] -- in fact floating point operations per second
NOT calculations

Beowulf Lee
09-07-2006, 10:18 PM
Yes. We will finally get to know the googleth digit of pi.

solarenemy
09-07-2006, 10:25 PM
http://www3.estart.com/stores/media/tired%20man%20copy.jpg


aaaaaaaaaaaaaah

you'r sayin' what ps3 super.... huh??

it's getting reaaaaaaaaally boring


next what

ps3 is the cause of gay merrage in asia?? haha
No PS3 is not super just its processor when used properly is super.

Karis Fra Mauro
09-07-2006, 11:05 PM
If it runs on Sony batteries maybe it will explode in an equally super fireball. That would make a nice video to upload to the internet. Supposedly the computer would be useful for simulating nuclear explosions, why stop at simulation?

sa192111550391
09-07-2006, 11:43 PM
If it runs on Sony batteries maybe it will explode in an equally super fireball. That would make a nice video to upload to the internet. Supposedly the computer would be useful for simulating nuclear explosions, why stop at simulation?

NEW WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION DISCOVERED!!!!
Intelligents show that terrorist are stacking Sony PlayStation 3 "cell" and Sony batteries

ChaozXIII
09-07-2006, 11:53 PM
i am so saving up for a ps3

Kerii
09-08-2006, 12:14 AM
Wake me when Cell actually has a purpose other than running a single equation a billion times per second.

Otherwise, useless.

Hi-ho! Celeron!

Atachi
09-08-2006, 01:18 AM
Yes. We will finally get to know the googleth digit of pi.that number's name is not Google, it's Googol

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Googol

TK.
09-08-2006, 06:39 AM
....and they again fail at mentioning, that those "256 billion calculations per second" are NOT 256 giga-flops, but a 256 billion maximum of vectoroperations per second. those are not generic operations like on plain integer/word/double/float or whatever basic numbertype!

I bet a few people were thinking the same :errrr:i was.

Beowulf Lee
09-08-2006, 01:27 PM
that number's name is not Google, it's Googol

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Googol

You didn't capitalize "that".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitalization

solarenemy
09-08-2006, 01:45 PM
THAT!There now how do you like?

No big deal, we all know the truth. Its only the chip and not the PS3 that could be famous.

pogi420
09-08-2006, 03:01 PM
but the root of all evil still lies in Sony, Curses Args~

and yea im totally buying 16,000 PS3s taht would be...

holy mother of jesus $800000+

Mai Tokiha
09-08-2006, 05:39 PM
NEW WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION DISCOVERED!!!!
Intelligents show that terrorist are stacking Sony PlayStation 3 "cell" and Sony batteries
Indeed.... before we know it, the US will be invading the Sony headquarters in Japan for producing weapons of mass destruction http://www.hongfire.com/forum/images/smilies/cs/xd.gif

terumi56
09-08-2006, 09:43 PM
psh i remember when they tried to stop the export of ps2's to the middle east... them saying the ps2 had enough power to operate a missle launch system.....and the ps2 is total crap... even if its capable of doing such things doesnt mean it will actually perform remotely close to what it says... the ps2 for one doesnt even use its emotion chip properly to date.... i dont think there has been a single game developed that used the emotion chip to its full potential.... blah its an overpriced blu-ray player. imo ps3 = what the ps2 was supposed to be like..... ~__~

Kerii
09-08-2006, 09:52 PM
psh i remember when they tried to stop the export of ps2's to the middle east... them saying the ps2 had enough power to operate a missle launch system.....and the ps2 is total crap... even if its capable of doing such things doesnt mean it will actually perform remotely close to what it says... the ps2 for one doesnt even use its emotion chip properly to date.... i dont think there has been a single game developed that used the emotion chip to its full potential.... blah its an overpriced blu-ray player. imo ps3 = what the ps2 was supposed to be like..... ~__~You mean Toy Story like graphics? :p

We're not quite there yet.

Maybe for PS4, if Sony is still around in 10 years. :p

Gary7
09-08-2006, 10:49 PM
This is exciting news. Parallelism is great. By using vectors and matrices, blinding fast associative searching, pattern matching, and pattern recognition will become a reality soon. And pseudo associative linking will be absolutely phenomenal. And shortly after, I expect major breakthroughs in cognitive science are forthcoming.

zer0kage
09-08-2006, 11:08 PM
Interesting now if Sony gets the hell out of it's retarded marketing scheme. 360 can be another DC which means it may live a short but beautiful life.

mewmew
09-08-2006, 11:17 PM
Sony and Marketing is an oxymoron. They're terrible at marketing. Otherwise people would have been using Beta instead of VHS. Their strength is technical excellence. But having the best engineered parts is not the same as having the best products.

Mai Tokiha
09-09-2006, 09:52 AM
Sony and Marketing is an oxymoron. They're terrible at marketing. Otherwise people would have been using Beta instead of VHS. Their strength is technical excellence. But having the best engineered parts is not the same as having the best products.
Sony and technical excellence is an oxymoron as well - at least by now. They might've been doing nicely many years ago, but clearly not anymore.

Kelomin
09-09-2006, 10:13 AM
Yeah, the Cell Processor is quite powerful, but Assemlby is the optimal programming language for designing on it.
v.v;
Damned Assembly..
But you know, I read that 10,000 Cell processors together would produce a super computer with up to 4 times the processing capabiltiies of IBM's best.
But how expensive would that be?
O.O

mewmew
09-09-2006, 10:35 AM
Assembly is a direct one-to-one abstraction of machine language, and machine language is the only language that any processor understands, unless you are dealing with programmable logic units in which case there is a layer of abstraction beneath machine language called micro-code.

High level languages are supported only by specialized application programs called compilers or interpreters, not hardware.

nokuson
09-11-2006, 05:11 PM
This doesn't compute, why is it that this company is testing this new computer in Mexico, no I have nothing against them it just doesn't seam right. As a computer programmer my self, it would seam allot better to put it in one of the state of the art facilities to make sure that nothing goes wrong and oh yes by the way I agree with atachi:kakashi: all this blah, blah blah about speeds and we can't even keep our computers working at optimal level. Before when Proc speed was just about 100 or less MHZ the ram was enought to make it run at 100%. Now adays you have a 3.2 GHZ and only about enough RAM to allow it to run at about 84% even if you do have full RAM in your system. (remeber the more programs you install the more RAM is eatin up, not to mention multi-tasking) (With exception to Linux) >:D . Anyway, I hope that this new Super Computer doesn't blow up like Windows Vista Did at the BlackHat Convention ( Man I wonder how Bill felt with all those Hackers Eating his system alive) ---Nokuson


I do not Hack; I linux; Hacking is just a way to show you my Linux Power.

Atachi
09-12-2006, 12:47 PM
(remeber the more programs you install the more RAM is eatin up, not to mention multi-tasking) (With exception to Linux) >:D .lol... good joke... (if a program just doesn't run, it doesn't consume ram - on any system) - and a linux-program usually consumes more ram than a win-one (if it's one and the same). don't compare a system running CLI-stuff mainly to one that's based on a GUI. it's apples and oranges.
Anyway, I hope that this new Super Computer doesn't blow up like Windows Vista Did at the BlackHat Convention ( Man I wonder how Bill felt with all those Hackers Eating his system alive) ---Nokuson1st of: microsoft gave them the beta and asked them to hack it - it's called "testing" whether the new security-system works as intended.
2nd: those hackers found it relative secure and most serious security-leaks found were already patched long ago (some even months ago)

I do not Hack; I linux; Hacking is just a way to show you my Linux Power.scriptkiddie *evil laughter*

Lumoco
09-14-2006, 04:40 PM
I made a few friends who worked at the JPL , and they showed me some of the real time wind tunnel simulations they do with the supercomputers. It is an amazing marriage of supercomputers and graphics.

I'd image that they can also use this same technique to develop more efficient cars, truck, boats, etc.. And it may even be less expensive than using a real wind tunnel.