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Mercury puts Cell processor on a PCI-E card

Cyril Kowaliski
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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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