Mercury puts Cell processor on a PCI-E card


— 5:25 PM on July 31, 2006

Mercury Computer Systems has come up with a new application for Cell, the multi-core processor jointly designed by Sony, Toshiba, and IBM and due to appear in Sony's PlayStation 3 in November. Mercury's new product is called the Mercury Cell Accelerator Board, and it consists of a discrete Cell processor on a PCI Express card intended for use as a co-processor of sorts.

Featuring the Mercury MultiCore Plus(TM) Advantage, the CAB is designed to deliver an unprecedented 180 GFLOPS of performance in a PCI Express(R) ATX form factor suitable for compute-intensive applications such as rendering, ray tracing, video and image processing, and signal processing.
The Mercury Cell Accelerator Board features a 2.8GHz Cell processor, 1GB of Rambus XDR DRAM, 4GB of DDR2 SDRAM, Gigabit Ethernet, and a PCI Express x16 interface. Rated power draw is a whopping 210W, and the card is 12.283" long—about an inch shorter than NVIDIA's GeForce 7950 GX2 graphics card. Expect the Cell Accelerator Board to become available in early 2007 at a price of $7,999.

Incidentally, the Mercury Cell Accelerator Board won't be Mercury's first Cell-based product. In January, the company started shipping Cell-based blade servers, and Mercury's product portfolio shows a number of other Cell solutions. Thanks to DailyTech for the tip.

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