First, let me say that I think that asymmetric processing is the future. That's the gist of another post I made in the general discussion section... I want to see Free Software be the first to fully take advantage of opportunities to take advantage of asymmetric processing systems, in every way possible.
Stream co processors are taking a while to come to market, but the PS3 is already out, and it provides three different types of power:
-64 bit PPC core
Folding at home is a great example of taking advantage of various kinds of processing power, and I think that the kind of math that it does may be similar to that required for many other tasks. This leads me to believe that for all the inflexibility of GPU's, they are, even at the /current/ point in time, potentially very good for many other things.
The psubuntu developers and nv developers are hard at work unlocking that power for use under Linux. What I think they need is a larger community who shares their vision. I think that the members of phoronix.com and blender.org forums are perfectly suited to provide that kind of support.
I think that this goal is less vague than the one I previously stated, and because it is /already/ started, should provide a better point from which to get things rolling.
Very soon now, I expect that the vRAM on the PS3 will be able to be used with nearly the same speed as the regular memory, putting it at 768MB, and potentially making it a very capable system. When that happens, I think it would be great if phoronix would run an article on the psubuntu project, and try to get theme more developers. See, right now, they're just three dudes at canonical, and they don't have enough time on their hands. They really need all the help they can get.
If you a PS3, go give these guys a hand. Right now just testing their releases would be a huge help for them.
768MB? I thought the PS3 had 256MB of general RAM and 256MB of VRAM
I thought it had 256MB of ram and 512MB of vRAM.. Hold on, I'll check wikipedia...
"The eighth SPE is disabled to improve chip yields i.e. chips do not have to be discarded if one of the SPEs is defective. Graphics processing is handled by the NVIDIA RSX, which can output resolutions from 480i/576i SD up to 1080i/1080p full HD, the PlayStation 3 has 256 MB of XDR main memory and 256 MB of GDDR3 video memory for the RSX."
Thanks Pseus; nice catch. Thank goodness you can load blender's rendering engine without the rest of blender in memory..