The next Playstation chip?

— 1:20 PM on August 6, 2002

IBM, Sony, and Toshiba have been hunkered down together working on a new chip called "Cell," which they claim is a supercomputer on a chip. Cell leverages multiple processor cores to take care of all the system's needs.

Cell will likely use between four and 16 general-purpose processor cores per chip. A game console might use a chip with 16 cores, while a less complicated device like a set-top box would have a processor with fewer, said Peter Glaskowsky, editor in chief of influential industry newsletter Microprocessor Report. Some of these cores might perform computational functions, while others could control audio or graphics.
Cell is being touted as a "supercomputer on a chip," which could pique Apple's interest. However, it looks like Cell is going to be highly dependant on software to take advantage of its massive multiprocessing capabilities.
"It's going to take an enormous amount of software development," Doherty said. "We believe the chip architecture is going to be on time and ahead of the software wizardry that is going to really make it get up and dance."
We all know just how well software is taking advantage of Itanium's unique architecture, which makes me doubt just how successful this Cell chip will be in the PC or even server market.
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