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Thread: PlayStation 3 processor unveiled

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Feb 2005

    PlayStation 3 processor unveiled

    The new cell design for the playstation 3 as well as many other things.

    The Cell processor, which will drive Sony's PlayStation 3, will run 10-times faster than current PC chips, its designers have said.

    Sony, IBM and Toshiba, who have been working on the Cell processor for three years, unveiled the chip on Monday.

    It is being designed for use in graphics workstations, the new PlayStation console, and has been described as a supercomputer on a chip.

    The chip will run at speeds of greater than 4 GHz, the firms said.

    By comparison, rival chip maker Intel's fastest processor runs at 3.8 GHz.

    Details of the chip were released at the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco.

    The new processor is set to ignite a fresh battle between Intel and the Cell consortium over which processor sits at the centre of digital products.

    The PlayStation 3 is expected in 2006, while Toshiba plans to incorporate it into high-end televisions next year.

    IBM has said it will sell a workstation with the chip starting later this year.

    'Multicore' chips

    Cell is comprised of several computing engines, or cores.

    A core based on IBM's Power architecture controls eight "synergistic" processing centres.

    In all, they can simultaneously carry out 10 instruction sequences, compared with two for current Intel chips.

    ater this year, Intel and Advanced Micro Devices plan to release their own "multicore" chips, which also increase the number of instructions that can be executed at once.

    The Cell's specifications suggest the PlayStation 3 will offer a significant boost in graphics capabilities but analysts cautioned that not all the features in a product announcement will find their way into systems.

    "Any new technology like this has two components," said Steve Kleynhans, an analyst with Meta Group.

    He said: "It has the vision of what it could be because you need the big vision to sell it.

    "Then there's the reality of how it's really going to be used, which generally is several levels down the chain from there."

    Mass market

    While the PlayStation 3 is likely to be the first mass-market product to use Cell, the chip's designers have said the flexible architecture means that it would be useful for a wide range of applications, from servers to mobile phones.

    Initial devices are unlikely to be any smaller than a games console, however, because the first version of the Cell will run hot enough to need a cooling fan.

    And while marketing speak describes the chip as a "supercomputer" - it remains significantly slower than the slowest computer on the list of the world's top 500 supercomputers.

    IBM said Cell was "OS neutral" and would support multiple operating systems simultaneously but designers would not confirm if Microsoft's Windows was among those tested with the chip.

    If Cell is to challenge Intel's range of chips in the marketplace, it will need to find itself inside PCs, which predominantly run using Windows.

    Oh sorry, here is the link....


    Ive been waiting for some news about the playstation 3, this new chip just makes it all the more exciting.

  2. #2
    Just a Virtualized Geek MrLinus's Avatar
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    Sep 2001
    Redondo Beach, CA
    Interesting. This will open up the door for even more dual-use debate. It almost could mean (theorizing here) that one could create a super-computer with 5-10 of these devices at a fraction of the cost. And then watch the "Weapons of Mass Destruction" programs go.
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  3. #3
    They call me the Hunted foxyloxley's Avatar
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    Nov 2003
    3rd Rock from Sun
    And then watch the "Weapons of Mass Destruction" programs go.
    Sad, but true.
    I read [so it's obviously false ] that in the late 70's early 80's, that the Soviets were buying up large quantities of an early electronic game called Simon
    link is to Simon 2, but the toy was similar.
    Apparently they were using the chip from the toy in their ICBM's guidance unit !!!!!
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  4. #4
    AO übergeek phishphreek's Avatar
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    Jan 2002
    I was reading about this the other day.

    Here is an interesting site to read. http://www.blachford.info/computer/Cells/Cell0.html

    What really interests me is the possible uses of this chip for DRM.
    The end of pirated playstation games and dvds?
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  5. #5
    Senior Member RoadClosed's Avatar
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    Jun 2003
    It says in the article that 8 cells will get you into the Top500 super computer list. Damn. That equals about 250 or so low cost PCs.
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  6. #6
    The Doctor Und3ertak3r's Avatar
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    Apr 2002
    I wonder when IBM says that the CELL cpu runs at 4Ghz ..is that absolute clock speed or benchmarked?

    inspite of that niggle from me.. I have been interested in the concept of the Cell architecture and am looking forward to what developes out of this.. certainly AMD and Intell are not sitting down n the job.. .. ahhh things are getting interestingg again..
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  7. #7
    Senior Member RoadClosed's Avatar
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    Jun 2003
    Yes, 2006 or late 2005 could be very exciting. You know that in some lab somewhere Intel and AMD are in some dark corner doing the same thing.
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