IBM Courts 'Cell' Processor Customers

IBM is prepared to lend a helping hand to companies that will use its Cell microprocessor in their products. Big Blue has introduced design services for its clients and will provide a Cell simulation environment available through IBM E&TS and Deep Computing Capacity on Demand centers.

Cell was jointly developed by IBM, Toshiba and Sony for placement in next-generation computing application and consumer electronics. The processor, which has reached clock speeds exceeding 4GHz, will be used in Sony's upcoming PlayStation 3 gaming console.

Cell has a multicore, multi-thread architecture, based on the 64-bit Power processor and several other "synergistic" processor cores to achieve "massive" floating point operations.


Some other design aspects are: simultaneous support for multiple operating systems; high bus bandwidth to and from main memory or companion chips; an on-chip I/O interface; real-time resource management; integrated intellectual property protection; and a 90 nanometer silicon-on-insulator (SOI) fabrication.

"IBM's new design services could have significant impact on expanding the number of applications that leverage Cell's unique capabilities," said Pat Toole, general manager, IBM Engineering & Technology Services (E&TS).

Specifically, IBM is targeting aerospace, defense, industrial and medical segments with IBM E&TS. IBM E&TS has in excess of 1300 engineers and worldwide Power Architecture centers.

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