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Sidney 25th August 2005 17:13

IBM, Sony, Toshiba push Cell chip beyond games
Some analysts have speculated that the Cell chip could power everything from cell phones to servers. Others are comparing the Cell chip to processors made by Intel, Advanced Micro Devices and Texas Instruments.

But the Sony-Toshiba-IBM group has had a difficult time selling Cell outside its own sphere of influence. The triumvirate signed its first outside customer only in June, when Mercury Computer Systems, which makes machines for petroleum companies and defense contractors, said it would adopt the chip for some of its future computers.

The documents being released include specifications on how to use the Cell chip in broadband applications; how to handle distributed processing and multimedia applications; and details on how the Cell chip works with computer languages such as C and C++, Application Binary Interface, and Assembly languages.

However, all of the new documents were not available at the time of this writing. IBM managed to post an overview of the processor's multicore architecture and five detailed specifications related to the Cell chip's ultra high-speed communications, high-powered graphics, multimedia and low-power capabilities on its Web site.

Additionally, Sony's Web site highlights the Cell chip's support for multiple operating systems, including Linux, through virtualization technology. Virtualization software lets a computer run multiple operating systems simultaneously .

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