Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers Using Parallel Processing Computing Could Save Thousands By Using An Xbox

Date:
September 15, 2009
Source:
University of Warwick
Summary:
A new study has demonstrated that researchers trying to model a range of processes could use the power and capabilities of a particular XBox chip as a much cheaper alternative to other forms of parallel processing hardware.

Dr Simon Scarle with XBox.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Warwick

A new study by a University of Warwick researcher has demonstrated that researchers trying to model a range of processes could use the power and capabilities of a particular XBox chip as a much cheaper alternative to other forms of parallel processing hardware.

Related Articles


Dr Simon Scarle, a researcher in the University of Warwick’s WMG Digital Laboratory, wished to model how electrical excitations in the heart moved around damaged cardiac cells in order to investigate or even predict cardiac arrhythmias (abnormal electrical activity in the heart which can lead to a heart attack). To conduct these simulations using traditional CPU based processing one would normally need to book time on a dedicated parallel processing computer or spend thousands on a parallel network of PCs.

Dr Scarle however also had a background in the computer games industry as he had been a Software Engineer at the Warwickshire firm Rare Ltd, part of Microsoft Games Studios. His time there made him very aware of the parallel processing power of Graphical Processing Unit (GPU) of the XBox 360, the popular computer games console played in many homes. He was convinced that this chip could, for a few hundred pounds, be employed to conduct much the same scientific modelling as several thousand pounds of parallel network PCs.

The results of his work have just been published in the journal Computational Biology and Chemistry. The good news is that his hunch was right and the XBox 360 GPU can indeed be used by researchers in exactly the money saving way he envisaged.

Scarle said: “This is a highly effective way of carrying out high end parallel computing on “domestic” hardware for cardiac simulations. Although major reworking 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.”

However, his research does have some bad news for a particular set of cardiac researchers in that his study demonstrates that it is impossible to predict the rise of certain dangerous arrhythmias, as he has shown that cardiac cell models are affected by a specific limitation of computational systems known as the Halting problem.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Warwick. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Simon Scarle. Implications of the Turing completeness of reaction-diffusion models, informed by GPGPU simulations on an XBox 360: Cardiac arrhythmias, re-entry and the Halting problem. Computational Biology and Chemistry, 2009; 33 (4): 253 DOI: 10.1016/j.compbiolchem.2009.05.001

Cite This Page:

University of Warwick. "Researchers Using Parallel Processing Computing Could Save Thousands By Using An Xbox." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090914111100.htm>.
University of Warwick. (2009, September 15). Researchers Using Parallel Processing Computing Could Save Thousands By Using An Xbox. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 4, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090914111100.htm
University of Warwick. "Researchers Using Parallel Processing Computing Could Save Thousands By Using An Xbox." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090914111100.htm (accessed March 4, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Largest Gathering of Games Developers in San Francisco

Largest Gathering of Games Developers in San Francisco

AFP (Mar. 4, 2015) The 2015 Games Developers Conference, the largest gathering of its kind, brings professionals from all over the world together in San Francisco to reflect on on the art and science of games creation. Duration: 01:13 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
'FREAK' Attack Courtesy Of Age-Old Government Policies

'FREAK' Attack Courtesy Of Age-Old Government Policies

Newsy (Mar. 4, 2015) "FREAK" attack allows hackers to gain access to your encrypted data. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Wearables Now the Must-Haveables

Wearables Now the Must-Haveables

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 3, 2015) Telecom company executives are meeting in Barcelona for the Mobile World Congress, the largest annual trade show for the wireless industry. As Ivor Bennett reports from the show wearable technology is one of the big themes. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Apps for March Madness

The Best Apps for March Madness

Buzz60 (Mar. 3, 2015) Before the March Madness tournament tips off, there are a few apps you&apos;ll want on hand. Krystin Goodwin (@krystingoodwin) has a roundup of the best apps to help you set brackets and box out the competition with tech! Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins