Videogame technology has in recent years been adapted for purposes beyond entertainment. Recently, the military took steps to employ the technology for computing and analysis. On December 1, 2010, the U.S. Air Force unveiled the “Condor Cluster,” a supercomputer made of more than 1,700 processors taken from PlayStation 3 video game consoles, and designed by military scientists at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) in Rome, New York.
Richard Linderman, a senior scientist in the advanced computing laboratory at AFRL, conceived the concept for the Condor Cluster. Linderman recognized the cutting-edge nature of the computer and video game industry's powerful yet affordable microprocessors, and challenged hiscolleagues to develop a military application. By effectively adapting the technology that created some of the most realistic and visually stunning games, the Condor Cluster calculates an impressive 500 trillion operations per second. This is the fastest interactive computer currently in use at the Department of Defense (DoD).
According to Air Force officials, the Condor Cluster is 10 to 20 times less expensive than similar supercomputers used by the U.S. government. Officials also said it consumes less than one-tenth the amount of energy, making it a "green" supercomputer. The new system will be freely available to all DoD users on a shared basis. With a diverse set of capabilities, the initial projects scheduled for the Condor Cluster include analyzing high-resolution imagery captured by satellites, artificial intelligence research, radar and image enhancement, and pattern recognition research.
The use of computer and video game technology has already expanded into the fields of education and healthcare, and the Condor Cluster is another example of the innovative possibilities and broad applications of computer and video game technology.
Article Source from: 16BitGaming