The United States Air Force will soon be placing an order with Sony for 2,200 PlayStation 3 consoles... and they're not even going to play games on them.
Instead, the consoles will be headed to the USAF Research Laboratory's information directorate in Rome, New York, where they'll be combined with 336 consoles the lab already own to form a "cluster" of Cell chips.
This cluster will then be put to work grinding out better ways to process high-res radar images, video footage, as well as research on "neuromorphic computing."
To quote: "The Air Force will use the system to "to determine the best fit for implementation of various applications," including commercial and internally developed software specific to the PS3's Cell Broadband Engine processor architecture.
The research will help the Air Force decide where Cell Broadband Engine processor-derived hardware and software could be used in military systems.
The Air Force has used the cluster to test a method of processing multiple radar images into higher resolution composite images (known as synthetic aperture radar image formation), high-def video processing, and "neuromorphic computing," or building computers with brain-like properties."
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