Is it true that a PS3 will be 8x more powerful than a PC. I heard that ages ago but i never knew whether to believe it or not.
Here see it for yourself :wink:
Cell, a radical new processor designed by IBM, Sony, and Toshiba, could enter production in 2004.
Collaborating engineers from IBM, Sony, and Toshiba have wrapped up the design for the inner workings of a mysterious new chip called "Cell." The new multimedia processor, touted as a "supercomputer on a chip," is well on its way to completion, IBM says. The chip could end up inside the PlayStation 3, and elements of its design will be seen in future server chips from IBM.
Cell has nearly "taped out"--an industry term meaning that the chip's pen-and-paper design and layout have been completed. Soon the design will be handed over to engineers in manufacturing, who will craft samples. Meanwhile, engineers have been testing various subelements of the processor, both separately and together, before the manufacturing unit connects them inside actual Cell chips. At this rate, commercial production of Cell could begin as soon as the end of 2004.
While details remain vague, Cell will differ from existing microprocessors in that it will have multiple personalities. The chip will not only perform the heavy computational tasks required for graphics, but it also will contain circuitry to handle high-bandwidth communication and run multiple devices, sources say. This multifaceted approach is possible because a single chip will contain multiple processing cores (hence the name "Cell"). Communications features expected to be in the chips will also allow devices to form powerful, peer-to-peer-like networks, some analysts believe.
While the processor's design is still under wraps, the companies say Cell's capabilities will allow it to deliver 1 trillion calculations per second (teraflop) or more of floating-point calculations. It will have the ability to do north of 1 trillion mathematical calculations per second, roughly 100 times more than a single Pentium 4 chip running at 2.5GHz.
Cell will likely use between four and 16 general-purpose processor cores per chip. A game console might use a chip with 16 cores, while a less complicated device like a set-top box would have a processor with fewer, said Peter Glaskowsky, editor in chief of influential industry newsletter Microprocessor Report. Some of these cores might perform computational functions, while others could control audio or graphics. But not everyone thinks this approach is groundbreaking, given that some processors already use inter-chip multiprocessing. "I just don't see that Cell is revolutionary, except in its marketing impact," Glaskowsky said.
While Cell's hardware design might be difficult, it's creating software for the chip that will be the trickiest part of establishing it in the market. "It's going to take an enormous amount of software development," said Richard Doherty, analyst with Envisioneering. "We believe the chip architecture is going to be on time and ahead of the software wizardry that is going to really make it get up and dance."
Furthermore, creating an operating system and set of applications that can take advantage of the Cell's multiprocessing and peer-to-peer computing capabilities will be the key to determining if Cell will be successful, he said.
Knowing this, the three chip partners have so far set a goal of crafting Cell as a system, creating an operating system and application software alongside the Cell hardware. Cell's designers are engineering the chip to work with a wide range of operating systems, including Linux.
But the chip triumvirate is also developing a purpose-built Cell operating system and applications, which Cell's developers will use to test the chip's various features, such as its multimedia-processing capabilities. They are also likely to form the basis of a Cell software development kit and also the Cell OS and applications for end devices, such as game systems, sources said.
While much of the work on Cell is complete, there's still a lot left to do. Together, the hardware and software teams will continue testing the chip's inner workings. The last stage of development work, which still lies ahead, includes completing circuit layout and then eventually testing actual sample chips.
IBM is expected to begin manufacturing Cell as soon as 2004 or possibly early 2005. But Jim Kahle, director of broadband processor technology and a research Fellow at IBM, confirmed only that the Cell project is on track to meet its 2005 release schedule, which was set forth at its initial announcement. The rest of the chip's schedule is a secret, at least for now, he said.
Coutesy of Gamespot.com :wink:
You satisfied now? :wink: