March 3, 2005

Will Big Blue open source the coming Cell chip?

Author: Jay Lyman

There has been far more speculation than actual details of the Cell chip -- a next-generation computer processor being developed jointly by IBM, Sony, and Toshiba. However, beyond the general information on the chip's architecture, capabilities and potential applications revealed last month, the publication of more about Cell on the Power.org site leads one close observer of the technology, Jim Trounson, to predict IBM will open source it.

Trounson, who is among a group from industry, academics, and finance forming Cell Industries, contends that the increased amount of information on Cell appearing on Power.org forecasts IBM's course for Cell.

"IBM cares about nothing other than IT systems for the Fortune 500," he wrote in an email to ITMJ. "IBM's 'official' hobby is open source software. IBM's 'secret' hobby is the Cell processor. IBM will mix open source software with the Cell processor to disrupt Microsoft and Intel and prevent them from playing in the Fortune 500."

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