Over 2,300 PS3s Have Been Drafted for Military Duty

December 10, 2009Written by Jonathan Leack


Photo: SFGate

Recently the United States Air Force submitted a formal public request to purchase more than two thousand PlayStation 3 consoles for military use. Many have wondered how the USAF plans to utilize the large number of PlayStation 3 systems as well as what purpose they have over standard computers and supercomputers. The USAF has opened up and unveiled some public documents to let the public know exactly why the United States military has chosen the PlayStation 3.

According to the Justification Review Document written by the USAF, the PlayStation 3 is a much cheaper alternative to other options. The JRD states the following:

With respect to cell processors, a single 1U server configured with two 3.2GHz cell processors can cost up to $8K while two Sony PS3s cost approximately $600.

As seen in the above image, the USAF is already utilizing Linux on 336 PS3 consoles within a server cluster. These PlayStation 3 consoles are intended to provide massive mathematical calculations to assist in research for urban surveillance purposes. At this point it’s only at an experimental stage, but the USAF has already planned to purchase more than 2,000 more consoles to add to the cluster.

An interesting side note is that the USAF tested chips from Intel and IBM but found the Cell processor within the PlayStation 3 to be the most price efficient. At any rate, while the Cell processor has been under critical evaluation since the PlayStation 3’s inception, it has done a great job amidst the harsh criticism with the cancer curing Folding@Home and now United States military surveillance.

Now this does beg to question, what exactly are they doing with all the controllers?

[Source] Thanks Brent!