New Microprocessor Design Coming From IBM, Sony and Toshiba

7 Feb ’05

News about Cell, the new microprocessor design from IBM, Sony and Toshiba that is generating so much buzz.  Quotes:

In a new volley in the battle for digital home entertainment, I.B.M., Sony and Toshiba will announce details Monday of their newest microprocessor design, known as Cell, which is expected to offer faster computing performance than microprocessors from Intel and Advanced Micro Devices.

Anticipation of the announcement, to be made at an industry conference here, has touched off widespread industry speculation over the impact of the new chip technology, which promises to enhance video gaming and digital home entertainment.

Sony plans to use the new Cell in its PlayStation 3, likely to be introduced in 2006, and Toshiba plans to use the chip in advanced high-definition televisions, also to be introduced next year.

However, many industry executives and analysts say that Cell’s impact may ultimately be much broader, staving off the PC industry’s efforts to dominate the digital living room and at the same time creating a new digital computing ecosystem that includes Hollywood, the living room and high-performance scientific and engineering markets.


The Cell chip, computer experts said, could have a theoretical peak performance of 256 billion mathematical operations per second. With that much processing power, the chip would have placed among the top 500 supercomputers on a list maintained by scientists at the University of Mannheim and the University of Tennessee as recently as June 2002.

"This is extremely impressive," said Kevin Krewell, editor in chief of Microprocessor Report, an industry technical publication, "and it proves that architectural innovation isn’t dead."

Previous post:

Next post: