IBM, Sony Corporation (Sony) and Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) announced today that they have powered-on the first Cell processor-based workstation. The prototype workstation is the first computing application planned for the highly-anticipated Cell processor.
The companies expect that a one rack Cell processor-based workstation will reach a performance of 16 teraflops or trillions of floating point calculations per second. While an individual Cell processor is capable of parallel processing, a cluster of Cell processors can also act as a huge parallel processing unit, being able to handle massive data required for complex physics simulation and control of digital characters in digital content creation, or can be divided into smaller groups, each carrying out different tasks. "Cell processor-based workstation will totally change the digital content creation environment," said Masayuki Chatani, corporate executive and CTO, Sony computer Entertainment Inc. "Its overwhelming power will be demonstrated at every aspect in the development of all kinds of digital entertainment content, from movies, broadcast programs to next generation PlayStation games." The Cell workstation is designed to deliver tremendous computational power, helping digital entertainment content creators generate higher quality content with richer and more dynamic scenes, much faster than current development systems. "Our collaboration with Sony is leading to a new era of innovation in the semiconductor and computing industries," said Colin Parris, vice president of product management, IBM Systems & Technology Group. "The supercomputer-like processing and performance of the Cell processor-based workstation is just the beginning of what we expect will be a wide-range of powerful next-generation solutions resulting from our joint development efforts." Cell is a multicore chip comprising a 64-bit Power processor core and multiple synergistic processor cores capable of massive floating point processing, optimized for compute-intensive workloads and broadband rich media applications, including computer entertainment, movies and other forms of digital content. Sony, SCEI and IBM aim to offer technology that will accelerate the paradigm shift in digital entertainment.
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