Tuesday, February 8, 2005

Cell - Intel chip killer unveiled

Information regarding the Cell chip has been released by IBM, Sony Corporation, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SEC) and Toshiba Corporation.

An example of one of the eight SPEs on the Cell chip (Source: Electronic Weekly)

The multicore chip has eight synergistic processors and is OS independant meaning it could work on a multiple of devices including consumer products like televisions and mobile phones (providing the issue of heat and size is tackled first).

Cell chip - you can see all eight SPEs on this multicore chip (Source: Eectronic Weekly)

These are the facts on the prototype Cell chip:

- Multicore architecture (nine core)
- Contains a single PowerPC chip with eight synergistic processors with 128 entry 128-bit register file and 256k cache per SPE
- Contains 64-bit Power Architecture with VMX (dual thread SMT)
- 2.5Mb on chip memory (PowerPC 32kb L1-Cache, 512kb L2-Cache and 256kb per SPE)
- 234 million transistors
- 221 mm2 die size
- Fabricated with 90nm SOI process technology
- 256 billion calculations per second
- 100 gigabytes per second processor bandwidth
- 4Ghz clock speed and above
- Memory interface by Rambus

The chips will initially be fabricated in IBM's 300mm fab plant in New York followed by Sony's Nagasaki Fab this year. Among the first consumer products to feature the chip would be Sony's Playstation 3 and IBM's powerful workstations.

Cell chip (Source: Tomshardware)

Source: SlashDot.org, GamesIndustry.biz, Electronic Weekly

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