New CELL Article Online

Article: CELL Microprocessor III
By: José Javier Zarate (, August 4, 2005 5:20 am
Room: Moderated Discussions
mas () on 8/3/05 wrote:
>fastpathguru ( on 8/3/05 wrote:
>>() on 8/3/05 wrote:
>>>David Wang ( on 8/2/05 wrote:
>>>>It'll be harder to maintain peak DP FP, especially since you have to use separate
>>>>tool chains for the SPE and the PPE. So you have to do a clean-sheet re-think about
>>>>how to utilize the asymmetric threading model and keep the functional units busy.
>>>>I think that you'll probably have to make your choice to run with "legacy" PPC ISA
>>>>and get the FP performance there, or go with the SPE only.
>>>Fair enough, that makes Xenon only look better then.
>>The new programming model is a hurdle, as much as there's a learning curve to it.
>>I personally think that people are making a bigger fuss than necessary over this
>>issue. (And I speak from personal experience programming coprocessors with the freakiest
>>toolchains, and working around the most arcane limitations you can imagine.)
>>It's no different than developing high-performance shader scripts for GPUs. Different
>>toolchains, programming model, etc., except with FEWER limitations.
>>If they open it all the way up to anybody who cares to experiment with it, you're
>>going to see a body of work grow rapidly... "Cell Gems" won't be far behind.
>>>>If they're going to heavily subsidize the consoles, they may not like the idea
>>>>of people buying them for compute farms.
>>>MS look like they are with a $299 price but Sony are not in any sort of mood to
>>>do so with $450-499 being bandied about. At that differential the Xenon looks the
>>>better deal and it also would probably make the better general-purpose computer
>>too with 3 conventional PPC-type cores.
>>A) Indications are that PS3 _will_ be user-programmable. Linux pre-installed on
>>the harddrive w/support for Cell, and I presume Nvidia drivers.
>>And B) I have a hard time believing that Xbox2 will be anything but wrapped up
>>tight, with no unauthorized access at all... Come on, >we're talking about Microsoft here.
>I didn't say anything about unauthorised access. Both Sony and Microsoft want to
>have these consoles develop into more than just consoles, poor men's PCs as it were
>with authorised programs. I think Xenon with three times as many PPE cores and double
>the cache is better suited for that role IMO and don't forget all that Mac software
>out there now that already runs on PPC hardware that could be ported.


If Apple's patents and Steve Jobs allow it to happen.
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