[erlang-questions] Google Summer of Code 2008

jm <>
Fri Feb 29 06:38:56 CET 2008

Toby Thain wrote:
>>  * Organise a list of project ideas that we'd like students to work
>>    on.
> One perennial topic is porting Erlang to embedded/tiny systems, and  
> how small the runtime can feasibly be.

Should I mention PS3 and the Cell. We started looking at how the PS3 
compares with a standard intel server at work yesterday to see if the 
amount of usable processing power is price competitive. You can get 4 
across in a 19 inch rack (PS3s are 325x98x274 mm) and possible be able 
to go 2 deep depending on the cabling. So in 8 Rack Units of height you 
can get 8 PS3s. Each PS3 having a 3.2GHz Cell processor. Even if we 
don't use the SPEs this may still be feasible given that the PS3 is 
cheap and is projected to have a long design (life) cycle. The stumbling 
block is the 256MB of RAM in the device.

Full specs: http://www.ps3source.net/content/view/17/33/

At the moment I'm reading the "Programming high-performance applications 
on the Cell BE processor" on IBM's developer works which will be of 
interest anyone interested in tackling it.


The other show stopper is the the application being targeted may require 
some custom programming. I'm the only person capable of progromming in 
the play and I typically don't get time to do much, but that's not 
important here.

Other links,



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