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SCI/TECH: Super Chip Unveiled

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posted on Feb, 7 2005 @ 07:05 AM
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A joint venture between IBM, Sony, and Toshiba announced the emergence of their Cell microprocessor. At it heart, Cell uses four core processors. Other manufactures, including Intel and AMD, only use two core processors and just recently moving from 32 bit to 64 bit. This new technology is expected to spur competition and "breathe new life" into the industry. Expect to see this technology in a wide range of consumer products.
 



news.ft.com
The Cell microprocessor has been under development by the three companies since 2001 in a laboratory in Austin, Texas.

Advance reports suggest the chip is significantly more powerful and versatile than the next generation of micro-processors announced by the consortium's competitors, Intel and AMD.

"This is probably going to be one of the biggest industry announcements in many years," said Richard Doherty, president of the Envisioneering research firm. "It's going to breathe new life into the industry and trigger fresh competition."

Cell is being presented as an architecture capable of wide-ranging functions and powerful parallel processing that will allow it to distribute its work among the different cores in order to perform many tasks at once.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


This is good new for consumers. The new Cell technology has already been implemented in the new Sony PlayStation 3. We will see this technology in every thing from phone to HDTV’s to computers. While this may be touted as the biggest announcement in years, in order to fully take advantage of increased computing power and increased speed, advances in seek and access time concerning memory need to be made.

[edit on 7-2-2005 by Banshee]




posted on Feb, 7 2005 @ 08:29 AM
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This chip is what will run the PS3. It is supposed to have the capability to use the processing power of other cell chips to boost performance. It should be revolutionary if it holds up to all of the claims.



posted on Feb, 7 2005 @ 10:57 AM
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The revolutionary part really kicks into gear when you put a lot of them in a blade server, but using the no doubt hotcakes selling PS3 as vehicle to introduce the Cell into the market is a uebersmart move to give the Cell a headstart.

One of the minor points of the cell, due to its complex distributed memory model, is the need to have four lookup tables in slow Dram and one in Sram, but I expect that with Mram entering the market, that will unify both Sram and Dram and give a huge boost to the Cell.


[edit on 7-2-2005 by Countermeasures]



posted on Feb, 7 2005 @ 11:15 AM
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Countermeasures, why do you assume MagRAM is going to be the next big thing? From all the research I have done, MRAM allthough non-volatile has a very low density. Samsung who is arguably the furthest along in this field has only demonstrated a 512k Wafer. Now thats just a sample, but it really needs to be ramped up alot more in order to satisfy market demand. I remain sceptical as there are alot of competing non-volatiles out there as we speakj. A few are NRAM, SDRRAM, KRAM(The K stands for the company who makes it, I forget the name some S. Korea company.) etc etc. There is a format war brewing again. Last time DDR Won out over RDRAM. Who will win this time?



posted on Feb, 7 2005 @ 11:52 AM
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If it has that 'bit torrent' style of sharing between other chips, then that could mean it doesn't need the memory upgraded or sorted out,

the PS3 is said to be aimed at network play and going that way - so, it sounds like the chip architecture is kinda like the internet itself, in terms of how it is connected.

Think about it tho' - non-commercially, you could make absolute monsters, there's no size restrictions, a lot of what is said about chip technology isn't as such about the tech, it's about getting it to be faster but smaller. I think some things might end up getting a bit bigger again, so they amp up the amount of tracks for example.

Fibre-optics, and see-thru cables - picture that. Nice.



posted on Feb, 7 2005 @ 11:54 AM
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it'll be hard to see if this provides any benefit for home systems. With the memory architecture of the Cell processors, it'll require less in the way of efficiency and more of a brute-force approach. Great for servers and such, but for general purpose systems (not dedicated unitls like game consoles) I expect quite a performance hit.

Like making your own linux cluster (the infamous "hillbilly supercomputers") there is a point where added devices actually gives you a dimishing return. I wonder where the Cell architecture will reveal it's bottlenecks?



posted on Feb, 7 2005 @ 12:32 PM
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Actually the sweet part of MRAM is to allow the computer to start up immediately. No boot-up wait time so to speak. Sort of like just turning on a calculator. Similar to flash, just faster. Windows won't load into memory any faster, it'll just already be in memory as soon as you give it some juice.

Sort of like turning on a sleeping laptop.

I believe Infineon, Ramtron, and Texas Instruments lead on the MRAM side.
Screw Samsung. Put it this way, the big companies make their fat margins off the new development technologies, and then when they are ready to whore it out in a commodity sort of way they give it to someone like Samsung.



posted on Feb, 7 2005 @ 02:34 PM
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Hrm, I wonder if coupling a Cell processor with Windows Longhorn when it comes out will mean it can boot just the same speed as Windows XP does now, given that they say Longhorn will consume ungodly ammounts of resources. Might need dual Cell chips just to show any perceptible speed increases between XP and Longhorn



posted on Feb, 8 2005 @ 02:28 AM
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You don't need Mram for a computer that boots in seconds like mine :-). It has the OS in ROM which is sufficient for a fully working OS. It then goes though a disk based boot for all the additional routines e.g. users preferred screen mode, auto start applications and of course OS upgrades, patches etc. So if my harddisk is trashed (it did once) I can still reboot and thus recover from backup very quickly. I am also fairly impervious to viruses. Unless those pesky things have found a way to modify code in a ROM .....not. One way of avoiding reboots is to not switch off your computer which also preserves the life of the components which wear out faster if powered up and down. The problem with leaving a computer switched on is the environmentally unfriendly power consumption of x86 chips inside the majority of heaters oops sorry PC's (my process does NOT have a heatsink it is warm to touch and no more).




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