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US Air Force orders 2200 Sony PS3s

Extending supercomputing Linux cluster

The US Air Force plans to buy a whopping 2200 PlayStation 3 games consoles which it will use to expand an existing PS3-based supercomputer.

The current cluster of consoles contains 336 PS3s, each connected by their RJ45 ports to a common 24-port Gigabit Ethernet hub, Air Force online documentation states.

The entire set-up runs on an in-house developed Linux-based OS.

However, the expanded PS3 supercomputer will be used to further the Air Force’s “architectural studies” which “determine what software and hardware technologies are implemented [in] military systems”.

The Air Force hasn’t said much more than this, preferring to keep its intentions close to its medal-bedecked chest. However, it did describe one possible scenario where the PS3 supercomputer could be used to determine additional software and hardware requirements for advanced computing architectures and high-performance embedded computing applications.

The PS3 supercomputer has previously been used to test methods of processing multiple radar images into higher resolution composite images – known as Back Projection Synthetic Aperture Radar Imager formation — additional Air Force documents revealed.

It is unclear when then the US Air Force hopes to have its 2536-strong PS3 supercomputer up and running. Presumably it's after the squadies are done playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. ®

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