New Powermacs to use Cell Processor?

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  • Reply 41 of 220
    Quote:

    Originally posted by mugwump

    Super Cell article









    First of all, down the road Apple could be in a fine position to take advantage of such tech advances. Doubtful if Intel, MS, and Dell could be so nimble.



    As an aside, I wonder if it would be the approach for TV's to render raw digital data on the fly. That would circumvent half of the current workflow of content creation, computer rendering, compression, and delivery.




    I hate the wild claims and speculation that these articles do. More computing power than I can imagine? Give me a break, I can imagine a heck of a lot and it would make 16 teraflops quiver and run away with its tail between its legs. "Broadband on a chip"? What the heck is that supposed to mean and how is it going to bring everyone together in something that sounds like Utopia? C'mon, keep the old feet on the ground. Who are they quoting here, a maintenance engineer in one of Sony's offices?
  • Reply 42 of 220
    "C'mon, keep the old feet on the ground. Who are they quoting here, a maintenance engineer in one of Sony's offices?"



    Yeah, how'd they get hold of Kormac over at Samsung for a Sony article?





    But Big P, what's your take on the specificity in the article, namely:



    A single Cell chip is expected to surpass 250 billion floating point operations, or 250 gigaflops, per second, six times as fast as Nvidia's new graphics chip.



    And that each chip will have 8 cores.



    Goes into production by midyear at East Fishkill.



    Already "on its way" to 65nm production.





    Hmmmmmm??
  • Reply 43 of 220
    yevgenyyevgeny Posts: 1,148member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by mugwump

    A single Cell chip is expected to surpass 250 billion floating point operations, or 250 gigaflops, per second, six times as fast as Nvidia's new graphics chip.



    And that each chip will have 8 cores.




    Well my take on it is that it will be very hard to keep such a chip fed with information, that it will be difficult to write useful algorithms that excercise peak computational abilities of the chip and that that number is just a marketing spec for peak performance and reality is a bit more believable.



    Of course I am a dull realist but I have heard all this before from FPGA's and how many machines have those built in? Yes they can be incredibly powerful and useful, but nobody uses them outside of specialized applications (e.g. cruise missiles).



    Cell will undoubtedly be nice, but I tend to think that it will not live up to all its hype. Of course, I'd like to be surprised



    Cell will likely make a wonderful addition to PowerMacs.
  • Reply 44 of 220
    programmerprogrammer Posts: 3,409member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Yevgeny

    Well my take on it is that it will be very hard to keep such a chip fed with information, that it will be difficult to write useful algorithms that excercise peak computational abilities of the chip and that that number is just a marketing spec for peak performance and reality is a bit more believable.



    Of course I am a dull realist but I have heard all this before from FPGA's and how many machines have those built in? Yes they can be incredibly powerful and useful, but nobody uses them outside of specialized applications (e.g. cruise missiles).



    Cell will undoubtedly be nice, but I tend to think that it will not live up to all its hype. Of course, I'd like to be surprised



    Cell will likely make a wonderful addition to PowerMacs.






    Apple's dual 2.5 GHz G5 has a theoretical peak performance of:



    2.5 GHz * 2 processors * 4-way SIMD * 2 ops/multiply-add = 40 GFLOPS



    How much is really usable? Well if the VA Big Mac is any indication only about 9 GFLOPS, or a little under 25% the peak number... and that is only on a benchmark used for the purpose. Nonetheless, having a single chip that can apparently fit in a game console turn in more than 8 times the peak rate of the fastest current PowerMac is pretty impressive.



    Ignore the hype, but keep an eye on this thing.
  • Reply 45 of 220
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,694member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Yevgeny

    Of course I am a dull realist but I have heard all this before from FPGA's and how many machines have those built in? Yes they can be incredibly powerful and useful, but nobody uses them outside of specialized applications (e.g. cruise missiles).





    Quantel makes high end HD edit systems that use FPGAs to handle the video processing. Their eQ system can mix and match HD and SD video in one sequence without any proxies or other silliness. Very fast at any resolution.



    I guess they are the cruise missile of editing equipment.



    http://www.quantel.com/domisphere/in...sf/html/eQmain
  • Reply 46 of 220
    Quote:

    Originally posted by onlooker

    Anybody have any ideas why Apple is still absent from those on board on IBM's power list?



    Power.org is centered around Linux, not OS X which might explain the lack of Apple being a member.
  • Reply 47 of 220
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Programmer

    Apple's dual 2.5 GHz G5 has a theoretical peak performance of:



    2.5 GHz * 2 processors * 4-way SIMD * 2 ops/multiply-add = 40 GFLOPS



    How much is really usable? Well if the VA Big Mac is any indication only about 9 GFLOPS, or a little under 25% the peak number... and that is only on a benchmark used for the purpose. Nonetheless, having a single chip that can apparently fit in a game console turn in more than 8 times the peak rate of the fastest current PowerMac is pretty impressive.



    Ignore the hype, but keep an eye on this thing.






    Aint Heat Transfer a bitch?
  • Reply 48 of 220
    programmerprogrammer Posts: 3,409member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by mdriftmeyer

    Aint Heat Transfer a bitch?



    Actually heat transfer is great, the real enemy is current leakage and power consumption in general. Without heat transfer you wouldn't be able to run your 3.8 GHz P4 more than a millisecond without it cooking itself.
  • Reply 49 of 220
    garypgaryp Posts: 150member
    As several have said, we will know more on Monday:



    IBM, Sony, Toshiba to announce "Supercomputer on a Chip."
  • Reply 50 of 220
    murkmurk Posts: 935member
  • Reply 51 of 220
    programmerprogrammer Posts: 3,409member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by murk

    Neo's at it again...

    http://www.macsimumnews.com/index.php/archive/2619/




    What's with these authors and their crazy hyperbole?
  • Reply 52 of 220
    yevgenyyevgeny Posts: 1,148member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Programmer

    Apple's dual 2.5 GHz G5 has a theoretical peak performance of:



    2.5 GHz * 2 processors * 4-way SIMD * 2 ops/multiply-add = 40 GFLOPS



    How much is really usable? Well if the VA Big Mac is any indication only about 9 GFLOPS, or a little under 25% the peak number... and that is only on a benchmark used for the purpose. Nonetheless, having a single chip that can apparently fit in a game console turn in more than 8 times the peak rate of the fastest current PowerMac is pretty impressive.



    Ignore the hype, but keep an eye on this thing.




    I agree. The hype is definitely out of hand, but I think that a cell coprocessor would be a wonderful addition to an Apple Pro machine. I would like to see how Apple will feed a cell so that it wasn't just spinning cycles (of course, theoretical peak performance is also the performance of a somewhat useless task unless you are scaling all your data by some constant). I'd expect Cell to have the same memory hogging characteristics that Altivec has.



    The reason why this all works out is that Apple is going to do much of the hard work of making APIs that will use the Cell CPU (i.e. Core Video/CoreAudio/Quartz). No software developer in his right mind would ignore such useful and hardware accelerated APIs.
  • Reply 53 of 220
    yevgenyyevgeny Posts: 1,148member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by WelshDog

    Quantel makes high end HD edit systems that use FPGAs to handle the video processing. Their eQ system can mix and match HD and SD video in one sequence without any proxies or other silliness. Very fast at any resolution.



    I guess they are the cruise missile of editing equipment.



    http://www.quantel.com/domisphere/in...sf/html/eQmain




    Don't get me wrong, FPGA's are great, but despite all their power, they just dont find their way into as many hardware systems as they could.



    Half of what would make cell a nice optin is that Apple would be bundling it in their machines as a standard option (well at least for their pro machines).



    Anyhow, I have to go back to work (four weeks until we're gold!)
  • Reply 54 of 220
    murkmurk Posts: 935member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Programmer

    What's with these authors and their crazy hyperbole?



    And I thought they were being conservative.



    My prediction for the Cell presentation: A Japanese engineer is introduced and walks on stage. The audience is stunned by the presentation. Then, towards the end, he says, "One more thing..." , while ripping off a mask to reveal he is actually Steve Jobs. "All of the cool stuff you have seen today has been running on the new PowerMac Cell. He presses the clicker and a Keynote slide showing the machine appears with the words "Shipping worldwide starting today."
  • Reply 55 of 220
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Programmer

    "Broadband on a chip"? What the heck is that supposed to mean and how is it going to bring everyone together in something that sounds like Utopia?



    I got a kick out of that too. What now? Are they going to get OC3 lines to everybody's house in a chip? "Broadband on a chip" What a clown. This guy makes no sense.
  • Reply 56 of 220
    Quote:

    Originally posted by onlooker

    "Broadband on a chip" What a clown. This guy makes no sense.



    Broadband on a the chip is the VISION for the Cell shared by IBM, Sony and Toshiba.



    Yep those guys are real clowns about the broadband capabilities of the Cell.
  • Reply 57 of 220
    murkmurk Posts: 935member
    From the New York Times...



    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/07/te...gy/07chip.html



    Quote:

    ?One area of wide speculation is whether Apple might become a partner in the Cell alliance in the future. Apple is already the largest customer for the PowerPC chip, and it would be simple for the company to take advantage of the Cell design. Several people familiar with Apple?s strategy, however, said that the computer maker had yet to be convinced that the Cell technology could provide a significant performance advantage.?



  • Reply 58 of 220
    e1618978e1618978 Posts: 6,074member
    Quote:

    Of course I am a dull realist but I have heard all this before from FPGA's and how many machines have those built in? Yes they can be incredibly powerful and useful, but nobody uses them outside of specialized applications (e.g. cruise missiles).



    Thats funny - I thought that FPGAs were very common - my company uses boatloads of them in our products, and we are not primarily a defense company.
  • Reply 59 of 220
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Aphelion

    Broadband on a the chip is the VISION for the Cell shared by IBM, Sony and Toshiba.



    Yep those guys are real clowns about the broadband capabilities of the Cell.




    I still think it's bad language, and more of a buzz term than anything. How are you supposed to get broadband on a chip if you have dial up? What good is the chip then? That I'd like to know.
  • Reply 60 of 220
    Quote:

    Originally posted by onlooker

    I still think it's bad language, and more of a buzz term than anything. How are you supposed to get broadband on a chip if you have dial up? What good is the chip then? That I'd like to know.



    I'm no networking expert but a little Googling around will show that IBM has been building on-chip hardware acceleration for the protocols that send data out the NIC's thus speeding up the broadband connection.



    If you are on dial-up you don't get to play, it's just out of your league.
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