The PS3 is a Supercomputer

by : Ian Ball



The PS3 is a supercomputer.

It's not often that buying a games console can give you a valid reason for claiming you're doing your bit for humanity.

But since the launch of the Playstation 3, its new owners can do just that!

For the last seven years, researchers at Stanford University have been working on a research program whose goal is to understand the process of protein folding and how it may be analysed in relation to disease.

Protein folding is the method in which proteins arranged themselves when carrying out their important functions, and its through a malfunction of this process that many serious diseases including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and many cancers are developed.

Since its inception in 2001, members of the public have been able to contribute to the program by downloaded a piece of software onto their homecomputers and allowing the university to connect with their machines over the internet, linking them all together to form a supercomputer with extraordinary processing power.

And now PS3 users can do the same! The cell processor within the new console is such that it is compatible with the program, and since the launch of the PS3 the number of users, and subsequent processing power has gone through the roof.

Researchers can now talk of processing power in terms of gigaflops and petaflops, which, you have to admit, does sound rather a lot!

The PS3 is now responsible for more than half the power to the project, and more users are being encouraged all the time.

So go on, do your bit for the world! Buy a PS3 today!

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