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IBM: Cell processor development not stalled

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 09 Oct 2010 23:24 User comments (2)

IBM: Cell processor development not stalled IBM will continue to develop the Cell chip technology and hardware to supply for future gaming consoles, a company executive has said. Jai Menon, CTO of IBM's Systems and Technology Group, said that the company is working with Sony and Nintendo. "We want to stay in the business, we intend to stay in the business," he said.
Cell made its first appearance in the PlayStation 3 console, launched in 2006. The chip includes processor cores based on IBM's Power architecture. Neither the Xbox 360 or Wii consoles use the Cell processor, but they do use IBM processors.

"I think you'll see Cell integrated into our future Power road map. That's the way to think about it as opposed to a separate line -- it'll just get integrated into the next line of things that we do," Menon said. "But certainly, we're working with all of the game folks to provide our capabilities into those next-generation machines."

Menon also said that IBM would be providing hardware for cloud-based gaming services. Such services require giant servers with a lot of processing power. "Some of this consumer stuff is also a cloud play. There are giant servers out there that provide some of the gaming capability. Some of that will come through cloud-based offerings as well," he said.

IBM released the Power7 processor earlier this year, and is already putting a lot of resources into its next-generation Power8 processor, expected in 2013.

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2 user comments

110.10.2010 1:31

this can certainly be twisted by someone 'such as myself' to make it sound as if the wii hd is being developed xD.

Custom Computer rebuild 2.80GHZ@6cores/8GBRAM|3DS | WII|360|PS3|

210.10.2010 7:20

The PS3 lacks many exclusive or enhanced games that could make use of the Cell processor because it is a totally new type of architecture to program for. Now we start to see PS3 game sizes, and notice how many of the games that come out are smaller than a DVD9. So I guess it must be pretty cheap to produce these Blu-ray discs. Some games are even smaller than a CD. Now in some cases, it might be a matter of less/smaller textures + less story = small size. However, high resolution textures and videos were placed in UFC 2010 on the PS3 version making it 40 GB while the 360 version remained a single disc (dual layer). A lot of games still use pre-rendered (but HD-size) videos for cutscenes. I kind of expected that by this generation we'd be moving away from video files for cutscenes almost entirely.

You can make some simple stuff for the PS3 and have it all run on the PPU (this is if you have only 1 single thread and don't call any ppu_* or spu_* functions) but then if you don't make use of the SPU, you might as just have a 'normal' CPU in there. For development companies, if development time increases, it costs more money to produce a game. It is absolutely the reason why there will continue to be more lack of interest in the 'Cell' architecture for a while, and why PS3 games will look either the same as a console like Xbox 360 or worse because the developers did minimal work to save time and get the game running on the PS3.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 10 Oct 2010 @ 7:21

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