New CELL Article Online

Article: CELL Microprocessor III
By: David Wang (dwang.delete@this.RWTexpanded.com), August 8, 2005 3:37 pm
Room: Moderated Discussions
Deadmeat (deadmeatoa@yahoo.com) on 8/8/05 wrote:
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>http://www.opa-ages.com/gallery/albums/userpics/13423/ppe.gif
>
>Well, as you can clearly see, DD2 PPE has only one FPU. Which means that it has to be "Gecko FLOPS"...

Unfortunately, it does not. You're presuming that the 68 FLOPS per cycle that Sony is claiming are all FADD or FMULTS, then seeking to justify where those FADD/FMULT must come from. There's no support for that presumption in this slide or any other slide I have seen.

This slide came from slide 19 of the Coolchips presentation.

http://www.research.ibm.com/people/a/ashwini/E3%202005%20Cell%20Blade%20reports/All_About_Cell_Cool_Chips_Final.pdf

The person who made those slides, Dr. Peter Hofstee, is one of two people who has discounted the Gekko speculation when I presented it to him. He doesn't have an answer for me where Sony got the 218 GFlops number from, and I have no reason to believe that he's deceiving me. Peter requested that I should pose the question directly to a Sony spokesperson since that number came from Sony. To make a long story short, after much difficulty, I was finally able to track down the appropriate spokesperson from Sony's corporate office in Japan. The answer I received was in essence "no comment". **

The best alternate theory not having anything to do with Gekko and still make the 218 GFLOPS number is that Sony is counting some sort of load/store/comparison instruction as a 4 wide "FP" operation for the DD2 PPE. That's not in the traditional ADD-MULT FLOP count methodology, and if you start to count those, then the SPE's can do more than just 8 FLOPS per cycle. In that case, the CELL processor should have claimed something even higher than 218 GFLOPS if you're counting more than just FADD or FMULT sort of things.

So we're back to square one.



** Specifically, the reply that I received was "We are sorry, but at this time we do not disclose the details of the Cell processor used for PLAYSTATION 3 to this extent. Your understanding is highly appreciated."
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