Thursday, August 30, 2007

Enourmous Playstation 3 Cluster Server for Online Game!

Early this month some pictures and a brief description of an amazing cluster made of ~50 Playstation 3 consoles was posted in Sony Computer Entertainment America's blog.
This server was specially mounted up for a BattleField-like game named Warhawk.

Combining the firepower of those clustered Cell Processors with some good parallelism programming techniques you can squeeze the hell out of those little pixies! When thinking about it i remembered some late discussions about "parallelism-oriented-programming" in the brave new multi core world we're living today.

A co-worker put this article at our Enterprise Wiki, where Ralph Johnson (member of the mighty object-oriented pirate ship named Gang of Four) states that Erlang (a functional language with powerful parallelism features designed by Ericsson) can become the Java of the multi-core world. Remembering that multi-core architectures are already popular in both consumer and enterprise markets.

How about an Erlang Virtual Machine for the PS3, so we could use the power of Erlang to take full advantage over Playstation 3's 7 SPEs in a elegant way? Better: without the usual grunt C++ work and use of special API's to abstract multi-core tasks/memory management.
Functional languages have a great asset for the multi-core world considering that "Concurrent life becomes easier when you do away with global mutable state"

The use of Languages that supports parallelism natively can become a powerful tool to assist the development of ass-kicking distributed systems like the international game server of Warhawk, for example.

I strongly recommend people to keep the eye open for these two technologies: Parallelism and Functional Programming.

There's a nice tendency for these two subjects pop out together
from now on.

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