IBM developed the iRT ray-tracer running on a small PS3 cluster demos car model 75x more complex than those used in today's games on Yellow Dog Linux, PS3, and IBM Cell blades.
"In minutes we had a very low cost 600 gigaflop cluster."
The open side of the PS3 is a good way to get access to Cell technology as a programmer. Just head down to Toys-R-Us and toss 200 gigaflops into your cart. Programs like Stanford's PS3 version of Folding@home are showing that today's game consoles can form very potent compute clusters. In the video below (sorry about serpent like sound track) we show our IBM developed iRT ray-tracer running on a small PS3 cluster.
This car model is 75x more complex than those used in today's games and ray-tracing is a class of rendering algorithm only deployed by the film industry, yet PS3s when clustered together handle this problem with ease. Our code was written using the Cell SDK so the same binary that was developed for the QS20 blade runs fine on the PS3, no changes. We just grabbed our Yellow Dog DVD, installed Linux on the PS3s, copied over the iRT binaries, and in minutes we had a very low cost 600 gigaflop cluster. --Barry Minor, IBM