Xbox speeds up research results Xbox加速科学研究运算
文章来源:未知 文章作者:meng 发布时间:2009-09-15 02:02 字体: [ ]  进入论坛
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Researchers have harnessed the powerful silicon1 chips used in the Xbox 360 console to solve scientific conundrums2.

研究人员利用Xbox 360里强大的硅片来解决科学难题。

Part of Dr Scarle
Part of Dr Scarle's research was done on an Xbox 360

Academics at the University of Warwick believe they are the first to use the processors as a cheap way to conduct "parallel processing".

Parallel computing3 is where a number of processors are run in tandem4(一前一后地), allowing a system to rapidly crunch5(压碎,踏过) data.

Researchers traditionally have to book time on a dedicated6 "cluster(串,丛,群)" system or splash out(随意花钱,大肆挥霍) setting up a network of PCs.

Instead, the Warwick team harnessed a single Xbox 360 Graphical Processing Unit (GPU). The chip was able to perform parallel processing functions at a fraction of(一小部分) the cost a traditional systems.

Dr Simon Scarle, a researcher on the team, built the system to help him model how electrical signals in the heart moved around damaged cardiac(心脏的,喷门) cells.

Dr Scarle, who previously7 worked as a software engineer at Microsoft's Rare studio, had first hand experience of tapping into the power of GPU technology.

Speaking to BBC News, Dr Scarle said that the the code controlling the chip was modified, so instead of working out graphical calculations, it could perform other ones instead.

"You don't quite get the full whammy(晦气,强烈的打击) of a cluster, but its close," he said.

"Instead of pumping out stunning8(极好的) graphics9, it's reworked; in the case of my research, rather than calculating the position of a structure and texture10 it's now working out the different chemical levels in a cell."

Real world computing

There has been cross-pollination(异花传粉) between game consoles and real world computing in the past.

Roadrunner, officially the worlds fastest supercomputer, uses the same processor technology as that found in Sony's PlayStation 3.

However, it is thought that this is the first time an Xbox has been used to perform parallel processing, albeit11(虽然) on a single chip.

Dr Scarle said that linking more than one Xbox together using the techniques would not be impossible.

"It could be done, but you would have to go over the internet - through something like Xbox live - rather than a standard method."

"However, without development tools, it wouldn't be easy.

Xbox live allows gamers to play against each other over the internet.

"Sony have been into this [parallel processing] for some time, releasing development kits12, and Folding@home comes as standard," he added.

Folding@home is a project that harnesses the spare processing power of PCs, Macs, Linux systems and PlayStation 3's to help understand the cause of diseases.

The network has more than 4.3 petaflop(单位) of computing power - the equivalent of(相当于) more than 4,300 trillion calculations per second. Roadrunner, by comparison can operate at just over one petaflop(浮点操作).

The results of the University of Warwick research are published in the journal Computational Biology and Chemistry.



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1 silicon dykwJ     
n.硅(旧名矽)
参考例句:
  • This company pioneered the use of silicon chip.这家公司开创了使用硅片的方法。
  • A chip is a piece of silicon about the size of a postage stamp.芯片就是一枚邮票大小的硅片。
2 conundrums a46e5f8b66d51238c7a4a31d910cc653     
n.谜,猜不透的难题,难答的问题( conundrum的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • After all the conundrums of Hungary, the second Turkish Grand Prix promises much. 继匈牙利站所有猜不透的事之后,第二届土耳其大奖赛许诺了太多。 来自互联网
  • I see conundrums, dilemmas, quandaries, impasses, gnarly thickets of fateful possibility with no obvious way out. 眼看问题经纬万端,进退两难、入困境,死路一条,盘根错节的命定可能性,但找不到明显的出路。 来自互联网
3 computing tvBzxs     
n.计算
参考例句:
  • to work in computing 从事信息处理
  • Back in the dark ages of computing, in about 1980, they started a software company. 早在计算机尚未普及的时代(约1980年),他们就创办了软件公司。
4 tandem 6Ibzp     
n.同时发生;配合;adv.一个跟着一个地;纵排地;adj.(两匹马)前后纵列的
参考例句:
  • Malcolm's contract will run in tandem with his existing one.马尔科姆的合同将与他手头的合同同时生效。
  • He is working in tandem with officials of the Serious Fraud Office.他正配合欺诈重案办公室的官员工作。
5 crunch uOgzM     
n.关键时刻;艰难局面;v.发出碎裂声
参考例句:
  • If it comes to the crunch they'll support us.关键时刻他们是会支持我们的。
  • People who crunch nuts at the movies can be very annoying.看电影时嘎吱作声地嚼干果的人会使人十分讨厌。
6 dedicated duHzy2     
adj.一心一意的;献身的;热诚的
参考例句:
  • He dedicated his life to the cause of education.他献身于教育事业。
  • His whole energies are dedicated to improve the design.他的全部精力都放在改进这项设计上了。
7 previously bkzzzC     
adv.以前,先前(地)
参考例句:
  • The bicycle tyre blew out at a previously damaged point.自行车胎在以前损坏过的地方又爆开了。
  • Let me digress for a moment and explain what had happened previously.让我岔开一会儿,解释原先发生了什么。
8 stunning NhGzDh     
adj.极好的;使人晕倒的
参考例句:
  • His plays are distinguished only by their stunning mediocrity.他的戏剧与众不同之处就是平凡得出奇。
  • The finished effect was absolutely stunning.完工后的效果非常美。
9 graphics CrxzuL     
n.制图法,制图学;图形显示
参考例句:
  • You've leveraged your graphics experience into the video area.你们把图形设计业务的经验运用到录像业务中去。
  • Improved graphics took computer games into a new era.经改进的制图技术将电脑游戏带进了一个新时代。
10 texture kpmwQ     
n.(织物)质地;(材料)构造;结构;肌理
参考例句:
  • We could feel the smooth texture of silk.我们能感觉出丝绸的光滑质地。
  • Her skin has a fine texture.她的皮肤细腻。
11 albeit axiz0     
conj.即使;纵使;虽然
参考例句:
  • Albeit fictional,she seemed to have resolved the problem.虽然是虚构的,但是在她看来好象是解决了问题。
  • Albeit he has failed twice,he is not discouraged.虽然失败了两次,但他并没有气馁。
12 kits e16d4ffa0f9467cd8d2db7d706f0a7a5     
衣物和装备( kit的名词复数 ); 成套用品; 配套元件
参考例句:
  • Keep your kits closed and locked when not in use. 不用的话把你的装备都锁好放好。
  • Gifts Articles, Toy and Games, Wooden Toys, Puzzles, Craft Kits. 采购产品礼品,玩具和游戏,木制的玩具,智力玩具,手艺装备。
TAG标签: research chip speed Xbox
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