Chelmsford (MA) – If you are planning to do a lot more with the Playstation 3 than playing games, then here is an opportunity to use the console as a high-performance computing platform.
Mercury Systems said that it has releases its "MultiCore Plus SDK for PS3 - Base Package" just ahead of Siggraph and will follow up with a more elaborate version on August 6. Provided you have not just casual development experience, Mercury promises that the kit offers the tools to dive into the processing power of the Cell processor in an “affordable” way and simplify the transition to multi-core programming for developers.
According to the company, the SDK will run (YellowDog) Linux on the PS3 without overhead, data movement and computation automatically, and fine-tune application performance. Included in the $399 per seat software is a trace analysis tool, which monitors dynamic multiprocessor and multi-core interactions and detects performance bottlenecks and visualizes deadlocks (both functions require an x86 PC as host.)
Pricing for the upcoming “MultiCore Plus SDK for PS3 - Scientific Algorithm Library Add-on Package” has not been announced. However, Mercury promises the software to include “over 600 functions for use in compute intensive applications” and “over 100 image and signal processing functions optimized specifically for the Cell architecture.”
The Playstation 3 has been at the center of third party applications virtually from the beginning of its release. The Folding@Home PS3 project, announced back in March of thsi year, has emerged as one of the most popular third-party and supercomputing uses for the platform.