Moving beyond being a more-than-capable multimedia player, Sony's PlayStation 3 has proven itself to be very useful even in the field of science. Eight PS3s clustered together are helping scientist Dr. Gaurav Khanna investigate the gravity waves that are supposed to emerge once a massive black hole swallows up a star.
Khanna said that the PS3 was an ideal tool for his research due to the fact that it can run Linux, and that its powerful Cell processor - which is also used by IBM's fastest supercomputer Blue Gene/P - is more than capable of doing the computations needed to solve the mystery of the gravity waves.
to getting eight PS3 units, Khanna was used supposed to get a
supercomputer. But since a supercomputer cost US$ 5,000 in grant money,
the scientist figured that he can save more by buying eight 60GB PS3
units (worth US$3,200) and clustering them together, calling them his
Khanna was able to petition Sony to grant him
the PS3 units, which were given to him free of charge. "Once I was able
to get to the point that I had this kind of performance from a single
PS3, I think that's when Sony started paying attention," Khanna said.
how are the PS3 units - the gravity grid - faring in his research? "I
don't have to use that supercomputer anymore, which is a good thing,"
he said. It tells a lot on how powerful the PS3 can get.