Wednesday, August 02, 2006
PlayStation 3 Packs A Punch For Scientists.
Scientists at Lawrence Berkeley Lab in California praised the processor inside Sony's PlayStation 3 as a lower-cost alternative to Opteron and Itanium chips, while being eight times faster and at least eight times more power-efficient.
The scientists have been evaluating the game console's chip, STI Cell, developed by Sony, Toshiba and IBM (the STI in STI Cell) running several scientific-application kernels against other processor architectures.
"Overall results demonstrate the tremendous potential of the Cell architecture for scientific computations in terms of both raw performance and power efficiency," say the LBL scientists who conducted the research. "We also concllude that Cell's heterogeneous multicore implementation is inherently better suited to the [high-performance computing] environment than homogenous commodity multicore processors".
According to an LBL article about the study, the Cell is compelling to the scientific community which has high-compute needs but often with limited funds, because the intended game market for the STI Cell means it will be produced at high volume, making it a lower-cost alternative to conventional processors from AMD and Intel.