Okay, the news was broken months ago… and I’m still in awe.  The Sony Playstation 3 will be released with a more powerful CPU than is currently available in any computer in a PC format.  Currently, the only computer I know of that will eventually make use of this chip is IBM’s Blade line of servers. No home computing resource even comes close.

For many years now, our drive for more powerful video games have kept those platforms with perhaps a slight edge on general purpose computers, but this CPU, the “Cell” processor, consists of 9 PowerPC cores on a single chip; a master with 8 slaves.  The PowerPC is a fast RISC processor that is well-known to Apple Users, as well as in the high-integrity world.  As a whole, the Cell is said to be 10 times faster than an equivalently clocked Wintel.

The beauty of the system is that the way in which the system architecture is designed, it make it (almost) trivial to parallelize matrix operations.  This impacts the video game world by allowing lightning fast graphics rendering; but matrix operations have a large impact on virtually all scientific and technical applications.  Simulations, navigation, data visualization, even software based neural network applications all rely heavily on matrix operations.

I’m quoting most of the stats from memory, so don’t quote this post as authoritative.  The search engines have plenty of information; IBM has resources and tools available.

I’m just dreaming and drooling over what I perceive as an advance that will redefine computing capabilities in our very near future… and just imagine what it will do for video games.

About Max H:
Max is a father, a husband, and a man of many interests. He is also a consulting software architect with over 3 decades experience in the design and implementation of complex software. View his Linked-In profile at http://www.linkedin.com/pro/swarchitect