Supercomputer is made from off-the-shelf PlayStation 3 gaming consoles

March 25, 2011 | Source: Post-Standard

Computer scientists at the Air Force Research Lab in Rome, NY, have assembled one of the world’s largest, fastest, and cheapest supercomputers by linking together 1,716 PlayStation 3s, says Mark Barnell, director of high-performance computing at the Air Force Research Lab.

The supercomputer can scan or process text in any language at 20 pages per second, fill in missing sections it has never seen with 99.9 percent accuracy, and tell the user whether the information is important.

Video processed from radar signals, including ground-based radar images of space objects, can be viewed in real time or played back to investigate what led to an event. A viewer can change perspectives, going from air to ground to look around buildings.

The supercomputer went online late last year, and it will likely change the way the Air Force and the Air National Guard enable 24-hour, real-time surveillance over a roughly 15-mile-wide area, says Barnell.