Xbox 360 could save researchers thousands

A University of Warwick researcher and former employee of Microsoft developer Rare has demonstrated an Xbox 360 chip is equivalent in power to parallel network PCs.

Dr Simon Scarle discovered the console’s Graphical Processing Unit (GPU) boasts the same parallel processing power as several thousands of pounds worth of PC hardware. Using the Xbox 360 chip only costs a few hundred pounds.

He has published the results of his experiments in the journal Computational Biology and Chemistry, highlighting how researchers can save money by using Microsoft’s hardware.

This is a highly effective way of carrying out high end parallel computing on ‘domestic’ hardware for cardiac simulations,” said Scarle.

Although major networking of any previous code framework is required, the Xbox 360 is a very easy platform to develop for and this cost can easily be outweighed by the benefits in gained computational power and speed, as well as the relative ease of visualization of the system.”

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