A fellow Star-gazer links together eight PlayStation 3 consoles to make his job a little bit easier, and a little bit cheaper.
What would you do with eight PS3s? Have a LAN party? Make some cash off eBay? Or turn them into a hive mind capable of replacing your bog standard Cray II supercomputer? If you're Gaurav Khanna, you create a script to achieve the latter.
Apparently Mr Khanna, an astrophysicist, was able to obtain 200 times more data then with an 'ordinary' supercomputer. The Cell is exceptionally good at handling this sort of small, one off data requests, as shown with crazy floating point operations currently being achieved by Folding@Home users.
Mr Khanna had this to say; “I don't have to use that supercomputer anymore, which is a good thing." While one PS3 costs $500, a single supercomputer can cost $5000. The cost of eight PS3s is incredibly negligible compared to the massive cost of traditional supercomputers.”
And with confirmed price drops, the cost of making your own supercomputer has decreased as well.