Sony, IBM to create Cell-based workstation

Sony and IBM are making noise at E3 this week about the multimedia-oriented, highly parallel Cell processor intended to power the Playstation 3 when it arrives in 2006. The parties involved in development of the chip continue to be very optimistic about its prospects, planning a workstation based on the Cell processor, complete with OS:
Through a deal with Sony, IBM said that it plans to develop a digital content creation environment, the first computing application planned for the Cell processor, with the first prototype Cell-based workstations in Q4.

IBM intends to develop the Cell-based workstations to power digital content creation, while Sony will lead the development of the Cell-based operating environment by providing the architecture, algorithms, middleware and data structure for tools needed to create digital content for movies and computer entertainment applications.

Presumably, the Cell-based DCC workstation should offer performance in the neighborhood of a dual-Xeon or dual-Opteron PC equipped with what will be the latest workstation graphics chip from ATI or NVIDIA, or Sony and IBM wouldn't bother. 'tis interesting to watch a parallel hardware development effort track alongside, but largely separate from, the PC world.
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