Cell Broadband Engine Architecture
KeywordsMain Memory Near Neighbor Cell Processor Projection Shadow Synergistic Processor Element
Long before other microprocessor chip vendors developed wide spread multi-core processors Sony Computer Entertainment, Toshiba, and IBM formed an allegiance (commonly known as STI-allegiance) to build a highly multi-core processor that can overcome the problems of traditional microprocessor technology. The outcome was the Cell Broadband Engine Architecture [Cell 06, Pham 05] which mainly targets three different market shares. The first major commercial application of the Cell processor was Sony's activity to penetrate the gaming market with the Cell-based PlayStation 3 video game console. Further application domains of the Cell processor are in the multimedia industry and in the high performance computing community. For example, IBM's latest supercomputer, the IBM Roadrunner, is a hybrid system consisting of General Purpose CISC Opteron processors as well as PowerXCell 8i Cell processors. In June 2008 this supercomputer ranked first in the TOP500 list, which maintains the list of the world's most powerful supercomputers, reaching record-breaking one Petaflop – a quadrillion floating-point operations per second – of compute power using the standard Linpack benchmark.
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