Cell's immense power is largely undisputed by the scientific community. Folding@Home
is just one example of how Cell and the PS3 can compute massive amounts of data for the sake of scientific research. An astrophysicist recently linked eight PS3 systems together and was able to compute the same amount of data as 200 supercomputers. After Gaurav Khanna created code optimized for the PS3, Sony took attention and donated a few systems to his research.
"Basically, it's almost like a replacement," he told Wired
. "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.
With his PS3s at hand, Khanna will be researching gravitational waves.