New Cell Processor 10 Times Faster Than Intel
The broadband processor could fine serious applications in video surveillance products because it is specifically designed from the ground up to deliver cinema quality graphics and to decompress multiple channels of streamed video. A team of IBM, Sony Group and Toshiba engineers has collaborated on development of their jointly developed microprocessor code-named Cell. The prototype chip is 221 mm(2), integrates 234 million transistors, and is fabricated with 90 nanometer SOI technology. Cell’s breakthrough multi-core architecture and ultra high-speed communications capabilities deliver vastly improved, real-time response for entertainment and rich media applications, in many cases 10 times the performance of the latest PC processors. Effectively a “supercomputer on a chip” incorporating advanced multi-processing technologies used in IBM’s sophisticated servers, Sony Group’s computer entertainment systems and Toshiba’s advanced semiconductor technology, Cell will become the broadband processor used for industrial applications to the new digital home. Another advantage of Cell is to support multiple operating systems, such as conventional operating systems (including Linux), real-time operating systems for computer entertainment and consumer electronics applications as well as guest operating systems for specific applications, simultaneously. Initial production of Cell microprocessors is expected to begin at IBM’s 300mm wafer fabrication facility in East Fishkill, N.Y., followed by Sony Group’s Nagasaki Fab, this year. IBM, Sony Group and Toshiba expect to promote Cell-based products including a broad range of industry-wide applications, from digital televisions to home servers to supercomputers. Among the highlights of Cell released today: * Cell is a breakthrough architectural design — featuring eight synergistic processors and top clock speeds of greater than 4 GHz (as measured during initial hardware testing) * Cell is a multicore chip capable of massive floating point processing * Cell is OS neutral and supports multiple operating systems simultaneously.