The use of the PlayStation 3 in the Folding@home project has proven to be phenomenally
successful (even Team Joystiq
-- thanks, guys!). Now, the Cell chip has served another purpose: 3-dimensional medical imaging.
IBM and Mayo clinic today announced that they have been using the Cell chip for imaging purposes such as cancer detection. According to the press release, the imaging program originally would run on typical processors and that optimized registration of 98 sets of images would take 7 hours typically. However, use of the application on the Cell-equipped IBM BladeCenter QS20 is 8 minutes 36 seconds -- approximately fifty times faster.
The PlayStation 3 itself is not being used for the imaging, and for that we say pity. We actually find it interesting watching the proteins fold and inviting our chemistry-oriented buddies over to identify common bonds and laugh at atomic jokes that we don't get. How about a downloadable application in the vein of this imaging program that both showcases the PS3's horsepower and shows interested parties how cancer looks inside the body?
The full results of the imaging experiment will be presented at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers International Symposium April 12 to 15 in Washington, D.C.
[Via The Mercury News