US Air Force Supercomputer to be Used as Simulators in Training Now That Sony Removes Linux Support

Sony has recently removed the other OS support from its PS3 latest firmware and that poses as a setback for a number of industries and organizations who use the PS3’s supreme hardware in clusters as supercomputers.

Well, Sony knew that already and did not care much about its loyal customers though, included in this list of customers was the US Air Force which runs 2000 PS3s in a cluster to create a state-of-the-art and cost effective supercomputer.

The US Air Force is not happy about this move and has remarked that they are also aware of the class action lawsuit faced by Sony in this matter.

Now that this fact is released, those fighting Sony in the court will have a better standing now that the US Air Force is unofficially in their team.

The supercomputer at the air Force could compute at 53 teraFLOP and was built by Fixstars. The contract of buying these PS3s was so huge; the USAF had to send a letter to Sony making sure it could provide that many PS3 units.

Here is what USAF had to say on this,

We will have to continue to use the systems we already have in hand,” the lab told Ars, but “this will make it difficult to replace systems that break or fail. The refurbished PS3s also have the problem that when they come back from Sony, they have the firmware (gameOS) and it will not allow Other OS, which seems wrong. We are aware of class-action lawsuits against Sony for taking away this option on systems that use to have it.

Now that they are out of options, the soon to be removed PS3s can make excellent flight simulators in training rooms.

(Via: Techdirt)

China’s Next Supercomputer is using Linux

China is on its way to make a new indigenous supercomputer build with custom microprocessors developed at the Institute Of Computing Technology. This supercomputer, the petascale Dawning 6000 is a successor of the current fastest supercomputer China has, the Dawning 5000a. The Dawning 5000a has been running on AMD powered microprocessors and Windows HPC Server as it’s OS. The Dawning 5000a ranks 11th in the world. Apart from that, China also holds the #5 supercomputer in the top 500 list.

Surprisingly though, the Loongson processor family has been used on low power netbooks and similar miniature devices.This is a major step for the company and the chief architect of this family of processors  Weiwu Hu is really looking forward to this. A fact that needs to be mentioned here is that this is not the first time  Loongson has gotten hold of a deal for a supercomputer. It did get a deal for the Dawning 5000a but failed to deliver in time and also lacked support for Windows.

If everything goes as planned, the supercomputer would be ready by mid 2010 and running by later this year. The microprocessors have been fed with the MIPS instruction set which is widely popular in embedded systems.

This supercomputer will not be just another trophy for Linux, it will let us unleash the power of Linux, yet again.

[ Via: Technologyreview ]