New CELL Article Online

Article: CELL Microprocessor III
By: Deadmeat (deadmeatoa.delete@this.yahoo.com), August 4, 2005 1:05 pm
Room: Moderated Discussions
I appreciate your article. A few things to add.

1. DD2 PPE is what SCEI intended all along for PSX3. DD1 PPE might be used for lower cost CELL variants.

2. Why PSX3 CELL needs a more powerful core has everything to do with its programming model. CELL employees an "offshoring" processing model. To utilize CELL's APU, you first start with 7 CPU threads, each of which then gains a synchronous access to one of 7 APUs available. Each CPU thread then loads the APU with required data and code, kick(initiate) it, then goes into wait status until APU is done and interrupts the CPU thread, which then reads back the processed data from APU(Which looks like a memory file to the coder). But to efficiently utilize the APU at all time, you may need twice as many CPU threads active, which means at least 14 active threads or more. You need a fairly powerful CPU handle all those threads.

3. Your DD1/DD2/970 core comparison pic is out of scale. 970 core is twice as large as DD2 PPE core(26 mm2 according to my measurement) and weights 18 million transistors.

4. MS is evidently not using the PPE DD2, in contrary to the popular belief. Their transistor budget for the core(33 million each) is too high to be a PPE DD2(18 million).
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