用 PlayStation3 搭建超算的可行性思考

Person of Interest 第五季第一集放出后本宝宝迫不及待的去看了....说实话,这个时刻我等的太久了.....

[!注意!] 本文内容涉及剧情,如果您担心剧透,请看过本集后再来看本文

提到这个话题还是得从POI说起,曾经我就说POI的编剧是很跟得上时代潮流的人。从我上一篇提到POI的文中也能看出这一点。

E1中机器宝宝需要一个更大的空间和运算能力去解压自己,根妹去寻找她的新身份,也是顺便为了帮眼镜仔找到一个能让机器宝宝顺利解压的解决方案:

s5e1-0

可以很清楚的看到根妹拿起的是Sony PlayStation3的游戏主机

s5e1-0-1

嗯....三百台PS3主机....也不造是用来干嘛的,接着看到这里

s5e1-0-2s5e1-0-3

s5e1-1

这里给了个特写,确定了是 PS3 主机无误

然后本宝宝就开始想这个问题:300 台 PS3 主机造超算,这尼玛不是在逗我?

Wikipedia上对 PS3 主机的硬件性能介绍是这样的:

PlayStation 3 features a slot-loading 2x speed Blu-ray Disc drive for games, Blu-ray movies, DVDs, CDs and other optical media.[91] It was originally available with hard drives of 20 and 60 GB (20 GB model was not available in PAL regions)[92][93] but various sizes up to 500 GB[94][95] have been made available since then (see: model comparison). All PS3 models have user-upgradeable 2.5" SATA hard drives.[96]

PlayStation 3 uses the Cell microprocessor, designed by Sony, Toshiba and IBM, as its CPU, which is made up of one 3.2 GHz PowerPC-based "Power Processing Element" (PPE) and eight Synergistic Processing Elements (SPEs).[97] The eighth SPE is disabled to improve chip yields.[98][99] Only six of the seven SPEs are accessible to developers as the seventh SPE is reserved by the console's operating system.[99] Graphics processing is handled by the NVIDIA RSX 'Reality Synthesizer', which can produce resolutions from 480i/576i SD up to 1080p HD.[91] PlayStation 3 has 256 MB of XDR DRAM main memory and 256 MB of GDDR3 video memory for the RSX.[100]

The system has Bluetooth 2.0 (with support for up to 7 Bluetooth devices[101]), Gigabit Ethernet, USB 2.0 and HDMI 1.4[note 1] built in on all currently shipping models. Wi-Fi networking is also built-in on all but the 20 GB models, while a flash card reader (compatible with Memory Stick, SD/MMC and CompactFlash/Microdrive media) is built-in on 60 GB and CECHExx 80 GB models.[91][100]

从中不难看出 PS3 使用了索尼、东芝、IBM 联合开发的微处理器,拥有 3.2GHz 主频,显卡方面使用 Nvidia 的 RSX,包含同主频的 256MB XDR 3.2GHz 主内存和 256MB GDDR3 650MHz 绘图专用内存

从官方文案中不难看出索尼一心想把超算带入家庭的野心。就在 wikipedia 对 PS3 硬件性能做介绍的上面一个段落,我看到了我需要的内容:

PS3's hardware has also been used to build supercomputers for high-performance computing.[81]Fixstars Solutions sells a version of Yellow Dog Linux for PlayStation 3 (originally sold by Terra Soft Solutions).[82]RapidMind produced a stream programming package for PS3,[83] but were acquired by Intel in 2009. Also, on January 3, 2007, Dr. Frank Mueller, Associate Professor of Computer science at NCSU, clustered 8 PS3s. Mueller commented that the 256 MB of system RAM is a limitation for this particular application and is considering attempting to retrofit more RAM. Software includes: Fedora Core 5 Linux ppc64, MPICH2, OpenMP v 2.5, GNU Compiler Collection and CellSDK 1.1.[84][85][86] As a more cost-effective alternative to conventional supercomputers, the U.S. military has purchased clusters of PS3 units for research purposes.[87] Retail PS3 Slim units cannot be used for supercomputing, because PS3 Slim lacks the ability to boot into a third-party OS.

In November 2010 the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) created a powerful supercomputer by connecting together 1,760 Sony PS3s which include 168 separate graphical processing units and 84 coordinating servers in a parallel array capable of performing 500 trillion floating-point operations per second (500 TFLOPS).[88] As built the Condor Cluster was the 33rd largest supercomputer in the world and would be used to analyze high definition satellite imagery.[89]

In December 2008, a group of hackers used a cluster of 200 PlayStation 3 computers to crack SSL authentication.[90]

美国军方购买了 PS3 集群用于科研目的,但是零售版本的 PS3 由于无法引导启动第三方 OS 所以不能用作超算目的。

2010年11月美国空军研究实验室就已经用 1760 台 PS3 搭建出了一个超算平台,而 POI 却只用了 300 台零售版本的 PS3 也做了一个给机器宝宝容纳身子的超算平台

剧集的最后,机器宝宝启动过程中也识别出了PS3的主机......

s5e1-2

后期很用心啊


References:

[1] PlayStation 3 cluster --Wikipedia

[2] PlayStation 3 --Wikipedia

[3] US Air Force connects 1,760 PlayStation 3's to build supercomputer. --phys.org

[4] Scientists Build A Supercomputer From PlayStations To Study Black Holes --IFLScience

[5] Build an 8 PS3 supercomputer --ZD.net

[6] PlayStations power Air Force supercomputer --CNet

[7] Person of Interest 5x01 Episode Discussion --Reddit

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