Monday, November 29, 2004

WSJ.com - IBM, Sony, Toshiba Unveil Chip For Home-Entertainment Sector

WSJ.com - IBM, Sony, Toshiba Unveil Chip For Home-Entertainment Sector: "International Business Machines Corp. is unveiling a chip that is expected to give microprocessor king Intel Corp. strong competition in the living rooms of the future.
IBM has been working with Japanese electronics giants Sony Corp. and Toshiba Corp. for four years on a chip design, code-named 'Cell.'
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IBM said a version of the workstation mounted in a rack with multiple Cell processors will be able to perform 16 trillion mathematical operations a second. That speed would theoretically make it faster than all but a dozen of the world's supercomputers, although much of its power is dedicated to graphics processing rather than to general-purpose computing. Cell also is designed to handle video streams from cable and satellite systems, decompressing encoded information and expanding it for display on big, high-definition, plasma screens.
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Jim Kahle, an IBM scientist who is director of technology at the center in Austin, Texas, established by IBM, Sony and Toshiba to work on Cell, said the Cell chip will be based on the same so-called Power architecture used in IBM's high-speed business servers, but the chip also will have "synergistic processor cores" to perform the high-speed computation needed for graphics and sound manipulation."
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