June 10, 2005

Open sourcing of Cell chip coming to fruition

Author: Jay Lyman

True to how some envisioned, the effort to gather support for a totally new architecture is leading backers of the innovative Cell chip to signal recently they would open specifications and software libraries for the new processor.

The reported forthcoming release of complete chip specs and libraries to the open source community, analysts said, is necessary to build support for the highly parallel, powerful, but as yet un-utilized Cell, which will appear first in the PlayStation 3 from Sony. The Japanese electronics and PC giant teamed with IBM and Toshiba to build the next-generation, multi-core chip, which features high-speed communications capabilities via its integration of 234 million transistors. Cell backers claim the chip will deliver better real-time response for entertainment and other rich media applications, boasting clock speeds above 4 GHz and performance "in many cases 10 times the performance of the latest PC processors."

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