World News It's All Relative Did You Know? Opinion On The Streets
PlayStation 3, one of my favorite gaming consoles, is now being revamped into something pretty serious. The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has connected 1,760 PlayStation 3 systems together to create what the organization is calling the “fastest interactive computer in the entire Defense Department”.

The Condor Cluster, as the group of systems is known, also includes 168 separate graphical processing units and 84 coordinating servers capable of performing 500 trillion floating point operations per second (FLOPS). Did I lose you in all that computer gibberish?! Simply put, FLOPS is a measure of computer processing system speed and to give you an idea, the PS3 supercomputer is around 100,000 times faster than the average desktop computer.

There are some very surprising advantages that come with using PS3s for the supercomputer's core. AFRL was able to construct the system for a total cost of $2 million. The equivalent system built entirely with off-the-shelf computer parts would cost $20-40 million. The supercomputer will also consume one-tenth the power of other comparably powered supercomputers.

The computer, which is housed in Rome, New York will be used for research by Air Force Service branches including quick processing of ultra-high-resolution satellite imagery, as well as research into artificial intelligence, radar enhancement and pattern recognition.

This got us to thinking, if the Military can create a supercomputer out of 1,760 PS3’s, what could we create with 1 Nintendo, 1 Super Nintendo, a PlayStation 2, an Xbox, and a broken Dreamcast? Challenge accepted!

An interesting note: In 2000, Saddam Hussein, claimed to be developing a number of PS2 systems into a defense supercomputer, and the UK Intelligence dismissed the claim as nonsense.


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