New CELL Article Online

Article: CELL Microprocessor III
By: David Wang (, August 9, 2005 11:12 am
Room: Moderated Discussions
Deadmeat ( on 8/9/05 wrote:
>> I must also give weight to the conflicting statements that counter this theory.
>Then you must also figure out why MS is also claiming 38.4 GFLOPS for its XCPU2
>cores which also share the Altivec/FPU micro.

Again, as I have already written, I have no theory that accounts for all the statements and ancillary evidence. Ergo, back to square one.

>>However, it is still rather difficult to believe that the official technical contact
>>for the CELL processor, the person making the slides that we've been referencing,
>is unaware of the Gekko FPU addition.
>Adding a dozen new instructions to FPU is a trivial thing. I am not saying this
>new console Altivec/FPU micro adds a Gecko FPU; rather it adds Gecko FPU-extention
>instructions, to be able to incorporate this macro into Gecko2.

Please, once again, it's Gekko, not Gecko.

You can add as many instructions as you want, but ultimately you have to build the hardware to execute those instructions in parallel. Someone has to build the hardware, and it's not a drag and drop operation like some sort of software macro. For one thing, the dual use of the adder tree for both DP and dual-SP multiplication in the Gekko FPU (or a Gekko-like FPU) along with the 11 FO4 stage depth requirement for the PPE ensure that there's some quantity of custom or semi-custom circuit design work. While this is not something that would require multiple man-years of work to implement, it is equally difficult to believe that the Gekko FPU ISA extension is something that could be done in a few days and the effort hidden from others involved in the project. That is what makes the "they're just unaware of it" speculation equally unlikely as any other.

>>Well, if indeed Gekko had been added to DD2 PPE for Nintendo
>I do not expect MS and Nintendo designs to use DD2 PPE; just the Altivec/FPU macro.
>> neither Sony nor
>>MS has to do anything to "take advantage of it".
>In terms of marketing, of course.
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