[vox] More on Cell BE...
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[vox] More on Cell BE...
In response to a similar posting about the IBM Cell Processor on SF-LUG,
Adrien Lamothe posted some additional details that folks here might find
----- Forwarded message from Adrien Lamothe <firstname.lastname@example.org> -----
Date: Thu, 15 Jun 2006 09:57:25 -0700 (PDT)
From: Adrien Lamothe
Subject: Re: [sf-lug] Posting and Announcement
The "BE" stands for "Broadband Engine", it is just a name, meant to
indicate the blazing speed at which the processor operates. The Cell
Processor (or Cell Broadband Engine, whichever you prefer) promises to
completely revolutionize computing. It is basically an extended Power5
processor, but with higher memory bus bandwidth and nine execution
cores: a central "Power Processor Element" and eight "Synergistic
Processor Elements". Linux is being ported to it, and Sun has just
agreed to port Solaris to it. The CBE is the processor for Sony's new
PlayStation3. According to IBM, the CBE will be used across the full
spectrum of computing devices, from mainframes down to cell phones.
My only concerns about the CBE are power consumption and heat
generation/dissipation and the associated thermal management
requirements. That is what most likely may cause problems.
I too believe Linux has reached a "tipping point" (a currently trendy
phrase), and that the IBM CBE will play an important role in Linux
adoption. O'Reilly published an article of mine asserting this, you
can read it at:
One of my predictions in the article recently came true: Lenovo is now
offering ThinkPads at unbelievably low prices (thanks to the
incredibly efficient cost of production in China). You can get a
Celeron M ThinkPad for $499, a Pentium M ThinkPad for $679 and a Core
Duo Thinkpad for $999 (the latter two with Windows XP
Professional). So now Lenovo can compete with Dell on a price
basis. That was the plan.
Developing software that takes advantage of multi-core processors is a
bit more challenging, you have to write multi-threaded software. I
recently posted an article speaking about this, you can read it at
I would like to write about some details of the CBE, but the licensing
terms of the CBE software development kit and CBE simulator (which
runs on Fedora Core 4) prevent anyone from writing about them. In
fact, after reading the licensing terms I decided not to download
those two packages (IBM asks you to agree with the licensing terms
before you download the packages.)
If all of this seems like shameless self-promotion, it is.
----- End forwarded message -----
<snipped: original response & post to sf-lug>
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