Did you know that the PS3 was military ordnance? The Air Force Research Laboratory has been given a $2 million to build a Playstation 3 cluster out of about 2,000 PS3s. Their goal? To create a Neuromorphic system designed to find examples of images stored in a massive database using systems that “mimic human nervous systems.”
Keeping with the off-the-shelf mentality, the Air Force is using metal shelves found at most department stores to house the PS3 cluster. They are also using Linux, which is a free, open source operating system.
The system will use 300 to 320 kilowatts at full bore and about 10 percent to 30 percent of that in standby, when most supercomputers are using 5 megawatts, Linderman said. However, much of the time the cluster will only be running the nodes it needs and it will be turned off when not in use.