"As perhaps the clearest evidence yet of the power of
sophisticated but inexpensive game consoles, the National Center
for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign has assembled a supercomputer from an army of Sony
PlayStation 2 devices.
"The resulting system, with components purchased at retail
prices, cost a little more than $50,000. Researchers at the
supercomputing center believe the system may be capable of a half
trillion operations a second, well within the definition of
supercomputer, although it may not rank among the world's 500
"Perhaps the most striking aspect of the project, which uses the
open-source Linux operating system, is that the only hardware
engineering involved was placing 70 of the individual game machines
in a rack and plugging them together with a high-speed
Hewlett-Packard network switch. The center's scientists bought 100
machines but are holding 30 in reserve, possibly for
high-resolution display application..."
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