What is the whole BUZZ about??
What we are doing???
We are building low cost supercomputer that run Yellow Dog Linux, attached to a Gigabit switch. Computer will have your favorite protein folding or gravitational wave modeling codes and allow you to do real science.
Most scientific computing is done on cluster computers. Blue Gene/L, the world’s fastest supercomputer, uses 130,000 processors. Plus a lot of money, power and cooling.
At about $4 per billion of floating point operations (GFlops) the PS3 is the cheapest supercomputer building block available today. We will let you build your own supercomputer and play with it.
This Looks Cool….Yes it is!
The PS3’s Cell Broadband Engine processor, or Cell, is a heterogenous multiprocessor. Instead of identical cores – like the Intel and AMD multi-core processors – the Cell consists of a 64bit PowerPC core and 8 synergistic co-processor elements (SPEs).
Each SPE has 256 KB local store, a memory controller and a synergistic processing unit (SPU) with a Single Instruction, Multiple Data processing unit and 128 registers of 128 bits each. They’re connected by a bus with an internal bandwidth of more than 300 GB/s that transfers data between the SPEs.
We are in touch with Professor Gaurav Khanna of the University of Massachusetts who did research on black holes and quantum cosmology and used the same technology that we are building
Doing a run on a conventional supercomputer cost him about $5,000 in grant money. For less than that he could have built the PS3 cluster and run anything he wanted. This is serious stuff, right? So it has to be rack mounted.
Doing real work on a Playstation cluster
Your standalone PS3 can be part of a supercomputer project even if you don’t build it yourself. Protein-folding research can use your PS3’s cycles to help understand the causes of Alzheimer’s and many other diseases. Help save the *real* world.
The Storage Bits take
A single Cell processor is roughly equivalent to 25 nodes on Blue Gene/L. While there are a number of architectural limitations to the Cell and the PS3 that limit its general applicability, it enables researchers to apply an incredible number of cycles to certain classes of problem. And Sony, IBM and Toshiba are hard at work on the next generation of the Cell.
This is the food for thought…
With the power of supercomputer in the hands of a 12 year kid, we are going to change the whole dynamics of the knowledge based education.