New CELL Article Online

Article: CELL Microprocessor III
By: mas (, August 5, 2005 6:50 am
Room: Moderated Discussions
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.
>If A and B are true, then it's a no-brainer... $200 would be _cheap_... The PS3
>would be this decade's C64, the ultimate hobby machine.

'PlayStation 3 processor to support Mac OS X Tiger' ;-)
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