MIT Completes First Course Devoted to PlayStation Tech

MIT last week completed what claims is the first course in the United States devoted to the capabilities of the Cell Broadband Engine or Cell/B.E., the chip that powers the Sony PlayStation3 entertainment platform.

The course, partially funded by Sony, IBM, and Toshiba, was a four-week "independent activities period" course in which students designed projects to run on PS3 system using open standards software and parallel programming methods. It was taught by Saman Amarasinghe, a professor in MIT's Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and Rodric Rabbah of IBM.

The student team with the best project--a 3D version of the classic "pong" video game--presented their work at the Game Developer Conference in March.

"The fact that students--with no background in parallel programming or the Cell/B.E.--were able to get their projects done from scratch in just about one month largely goes to show the capability and determination of our students, coupled with the availability of a robust toolchain for Cell/B.E. development," said Amarasinghe.

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About the Author

Paul McCloskey is contributing editor of Syllabus.

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