Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 8th Feb 2006 18:24 UTC
IBM Big Blue announced it would use the Cell processor designed by it, Sony and Toshiba in a range of high end servers. Applications that need good processing power and can render graphics are the target of Big Blue's desire. The first systems will become available in the third quarter of this year.
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RE[2]: Apple Is Screwed
by viton on Thu 9th Feb 2006 10:26 UTC in reply to "RE: Apple Is Screwed"
viton
Member since:
2005-08-09

I'm embedded/console/STB programmer for years and for me the Cell is a very tasty piece of hardware. Simple, fixed architecture with maximum raw power. Local store. These words are music for my ears =)

Cell is optimized for high performance media crunching, not for a language where "every statement results in a function call" or even garbage collector.
Elephants can't fly.

Anyway nothing can stop IBM to add OOO in PPE or improve branch prediction in SPE.

> how antiquated is the idea of tying your code to a specific processor?

Haha. So we have a software what do nothing but burning the cpu cycles.
Tying your code, for example, to P4/SSE2 is an antiquated idea. Don't do it guys. Use 386+x87 and intel will do all the work for you!

Edited 2006-02-09 10:42

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Apple Is Screwed
by nimble on Thu 9th Feb 2006 12:47 in reply to "RE[2]: Apple Is Screwed"
nimble Member since:
2005-07-06

Anyway nothing can stop IBM to add OOO in PPE or improve branch prediction in SPE.

a) Today's Cell doesn't have those things.
b) If it did have them, it couldn't have as many SPEs (at the same price).

Tying your code, for example, to P4/SSE2 is an antiquated idea. Don't do it guys. Use 386+x87 and intel will do all the work for you!

With those, as with other evolving processor lines, it's only a question of compiler switches and possibly some assembler-coded routines.

With Cell it's a question of tying your whole data model and algorithms to its particular local-memory arrangement.

Also, apps won't be able to take advantage of future Cells with more SPEs or bigger local memory unless programmers put in extra effort now to design their apps in such a way that they can adapt automatically.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: Apple Is Screwed
by viton on Thu 9th Feb 2006 14:47 in reply to "RE[3]: Apple Is Screwed"
viton Member since:
2005-08-09

it's only a question of compiler switches and possibly some assembler-coded routines.
Will some SSE3 specific code run on anything other? So this code is tied to one cpu.
SIMD code may require rearraged data and different algorithms than scalar code.

Also, apps won't be able to take advantage of future Cells with more SPEs
With the right programming model this will be done by OS automatically.

or bigger local memory
This will not happen in a near future. They didn't left the space between SPE local memory area and registers, so they have only one choice: breaking the SPE memory area to 2 pieces.

Reply Parent Score: 1