Toshiba shows Cell decoding 48 video streams

— 11:04 AM on May 2, 2005

In a very visual display of the power of its new Cell CPU architecture, Toshiba has demonstrated the Cell simultaneously decoding 48 MPEG2 video streams at once:

In the film, 48 MPEG-2 streams stored on a HDD were read, decoded and projected onto a 1,920 x 1,080 resolution display divided into 8 x 6 cells, each of which showed a different video in each cell. The company expects the technology to be used to display thumbnails for a video list. Of the eight synergistic processor elements (SPE) used in the Cell, six are used for decoding 48 MPEG-2 streams and one is used for scaling the screen. The remaining SPE can be used for a completely different processing function.
So the thing has power waiting in reserve as it's processing 48 streams. Pretty impressive. Anyone care to speculate about how many standard-def MPEG2 streams a dual-core x86 processor could handle at once? (Oh, and thanks to Slashdot for the link.)
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