New CELL Article Online

Article: CELL Microprocessor III
By: mas ((Not Given)), August 4, 2005 5:27 am
Room: Moderated Discussions
José Javier Zarate ( on 8/4/05 wrote:
>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.

Which has nothing to do with third-party software written for PPC hardware. He gets no say in the matter, they won't be the MacOS version that's all.
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