Linked by Eugenia Loli on Tue 31st Oct 2006 02:32 UTC, submitted by nstanosheck
Linux "With our operating system, the Playstation could very easily be your home CD player, DVD player, MP3 player and home computer, as well as a great game box," said Terra Soft CEO Kai Staats of the PS3, "This is not an application-limited appliance, this is a full-blown computer. There is no issue of ‘can it do this or that?' It can do everything." More here.
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brewmastre
Member since:
2006-08-01

It may no be completely compatible but it is based on the POWER4 (aka PowerPC 970) and does use the PPC instruction set and machine language: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cell_microprocessor
So any advances in the Cell hardware or software development will most likely also advance the standard PPC line.

Edited 2006-10-31 19:49

Reply Parent Score: 2

Ravyne Member since:
2006-01-08

To say that the cell is "based" on POWER4/PPC 970 is a bit misleading. While the design impliments the Power4/PPC 970 instruction set (which is to say 64bit PPC) the implimentation shares little if anything with the PPC970 or existing POWER4 implimentations.

The design that the PPE *does* impliment, is very similar, if not identical, to the PPC cores used in the Xbox 360's 3-core 'Xenon' CPU, and stems from earlier research IBM had done regarding the implimentation of the PPC architecture in comparatively little silicon. A distinguishing feature that all 3 of these designs share is the unique dual-thread implimentation, where-by one thread executes until it is stalled or pre-empted, at which point the other thread is executed until it is stalled or pre-empted. There is no Out-Of-Order execution either, which is a predominant feature of the super-scaler Power4 and PPC 970 designs.

Developers, speaking on the performance of the Xenon CPU, have been quoted comparing a single Xenon core (AKA PPE in the Cell) as being roughly twice as powerful as the original Xbox's 733Mhz PIII-based Celeron. So, as far as general purpose computing goes, if a task is unable to leverage the SPEs, performance will be comparable to a 1.5-1.8 ghz PIII, albeit 64bit.

Whether or not this is enough general-purpose computing power remains to be seen, but most tasks I can think of that fall purely into the "general purpose" computing catagory (Word Processing, Web Browsing, Email, compilation, etc) should have enough juice to get by. I'm a little more concerned with whether or not it's enough juice to keep the SPE's fed, while maintaining game logic in PS3 games. Much like how pairing a very fast GPU with a slow CPU in a computer fails to wield the GPU to its fullest potential, I wonder if the same may be true of the SPUs in the future.

Reply Parent Score: 2

brewmastre Member since:
2006-08-01

These are all very good point that you bring up, but all I was try to say, and maybe I wasn't specific enough, but the PPE in the Cell, the core that control the rest of the chip IS POWER4/PPC970 compliant, thats all.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Nicholas Blachford Member since:
2005-07-06

It may no be completely compatible but it is based on the POWER4 (aka PowerPC 970) and does use the PPC instruction set and machine language:

It's the other way around, the PPE in Cell is binary compatible with the 970 but not the same design. There should be plenty of software to run out of the box but it should *really* be recompiled first.

Reply Parent Score: 1