IBM showed off a prototype blade server powered by the Cell processor at CeBit back in March. Six months later, the prototype has turned into a retail product dubbed the BladeCenter QS20. The QS20 blade features two 3.2GHz Cell Broadband Engine chips, and according to CNet, it will become available on September 29 at a price of $18,995. Big Blue says a number of its customers worldwide are already using “beta versions” of the QS20. Such customers include the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom and the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics in Germany. Typical workloads for Cell-based servers include 3D animation rendering, data compression and encryption, as well as seismic and medical imaging.