Sony To Exhibit High-Speed Cell Computing Board At Siggraph - InformationWeek

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Sony To Exhibit High-Speed Cell Computing Board At Siggraph

The board is designed for computers that handle multimedia applications, such as graphics and video, and scientific computations that require processing of massive amounts of data.

Sony on Wednesday said it planned to showcase next week a newly developed prototype of its high-speed Cell Computing Board, which incorporates a Cell Broadband Engine microprocessor and RSX graphics processor.

The board is designed for computers that handle multimedia applications, such as graphics and video, and scientific computations that require processing of massive amounts of data, Sony said. IBM, Sony, and Toshiba, jointly developed the Cell processor.

By incorporating the RSX chip built by Sony and Nvidia, the new technology can reach computational speeds beyond the 230 gigaflops, or floating point operations per second, of the Cell processor alone, Sony said. The Cell Computing Board, which uses up to 400 watts of power, can be embedded in a 1U-size server and mounted on a 19-inch rack.

Sony plans to show off the technology at Siggraph in San Diego, Aug. 7-9. The Cell board will be used for "real-time image processing" of 4,000 images, and for computer graphics rendering. In addition, Sony plans to show a physics simulation that takes advantage of the technology's multithread processing ability.

The Cell Broadband Engine is the central processing unit for the Sony PlayStation 3, the most advanced video-game console on the market. The CPU provides the equivalent computing power of eight individual microprocessors, experts point out.

Sony, however, has been accused of patent infringement in developing the high-powered chip. In a federal lawsuit filed in Texas last week, Parallel Processing claimed the microprocessor contained technology the company developed for executing an application across multiple processors.

Parallel Processing is seeking damages and wants all PlayStation 3s not yet sold to consumers impounded and destroyed.

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