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Ghost in the CELL
Contributed by: G3nu1n3, at 2/10/2005 09:27:00 AM.

Sony, IBM, and Toshiba reveal technical information on its forthcoming CELL processor.

Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI), IBM, and Toshiba unveiled new details on its CELL processor at the International Solid State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in San Francisco today. Positioned as the "first technical disclosure" on CELL, the presentation offered a glimpse of the makeup of this powerful and versatile processor.


  • CELL is a breakthrough in architectural design -- featuring 8 Synergistic Processing Units (SPU) with Power-based core, with top clock speeds exceeding 4 GHz (as measured during initial laboratory testing)
  • Cell is OS neutral -- supporting multiple operating systems simultaneously
  • Cell is a multi-core chip comprising 8 SPUs and a 64-bit Power processor core capable of massive floating point processing
  • Special circuit techniques, rules for modularity and reuse, customized clocking structures and unique power and thermal management concepts were applied to optimize the design

    CELL Is Multi-Core Architecture

  • Contains 8 SPUs each containing a 128 entry 128-bit register file and 256 KB Local Store
  • Contains 64-bit Power Architecture with VMX that is a dual thread SMT design -- views system memory as a 10-way coherent threaded machine
  • 2.5MB of on chip memory (512 KB L2 and 8 * 256 KB)
  • 234 million transistors
  • Prototype die size of 221mm
  • Frabricanted with 90nm SOI process technology
  • Cell is a modular architecture and floating point calculation capabilities can be adjusted by increasing or reducing the number of SPUs

    CELL Is Security-Enabled Architecture

  • SPUs dynamically configurable as secure processors for flexible security programming
  • Read : Full Article

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