This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site you agree to our use of cookies. To find out more, see our Privacy and Cookies policy.
Skip to the content

Share this

Free weekly newswire

Sign up to receive all our latest news direct to your inbox.

Physics on film

100 Second Science Your scientific questions answered simply by specialists in less than 100 seconds.

Watch now

Bright Recruits

At all stages of your career – whether you're an undergraduate, graduate, researcher or industry professional – can help find the job for you.

Find your perfect job

Physics connect

Are you looking for a supplier? Physics Connect lists thousands of scientific companies, businesses, non-profit organizations, institutions and experts worldwide.

Start your search today


Computing with Playstations


With $5000 of his research grant left burning a hole in his wallet earlier this year, Frank Mueller, a computer scientist from North Carolina State University, decided to hit the shops and buy eight Playstation 3 games consoles. Not for pleasure, you understand — no, Mueller figured that with eight Playstations strapped together he could create a modestly powered supercomputer. “The cost for performance is unbeatable,” he says.

Mueller’s “cluster” of games consoles doesn’t quite break into the TOP500 list of supercomputers. But if he had another $4m lying about, he reckons he could string together 10,000 Playstations to make the fastest supercomputer in the world.

So, could physicists use Playstations to save a few trips to Blue Gene? “Yes,” says Mueller, “if they are willing to substantially rewrite their most computer-intensive code portions in a non-standard API.” That’s the Application Programming Interface, for those of you who don’t know.

On his website, Mueller notes that he uses his Playstation cluster for “educational purposes”.

This entry was posted in General. Bookmark the permalink.
View all posts by this author  | View this author's profile

Comments are closed.


  • Comments should be relevant to the article and not be used to promote your own work, products or services.
  • Please keep your comments brief (we recommend a maximum of 250 words).
  • We reserve the right to remove excessively long, inappropriate or offensive entries.

Show/hide formatting guidelines

Tag Description Example Output
<a> Hyperlink <a href="">google</a> google
<abbr> Abbreviation <abbr title="World Health Organisation" >WHO</abbr> WHO
<acronym> Acronym <acronym title="as soon as possible">ASAP</acronym> ASAP
<b> Bold <b>Some text</b> Some text
<blockquote> Quoted from another source <blockquote cite="">IOP</blockquote>
<cite> Cite <cite>Diagram 1</cite> Diagram 1
<del> Deleted text From this line<del datetime="2012-12-17"> this text was deleted</del> From this line this text was deleted
<em> Emphasized text In this line<em> this text was emphasised</em> In this line this text was emphasised
<i> Italic <i>Some text</i> Some text
<q> Quotation WWF goal is to build a future <q cite="">
where people live in harmony with nature and animals</q>
WWF goal is to build a future
where people live in harmony with nature and animals
<strike> Strike text <strike>Some text</strike> Some text
<strong> Stronger emphasis of text <strong>Some text</strong> Some text