Cell details

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
http://home.businesswire.com/portal/...40&newsLang=en



234 million transistors and 221 mm^2 @ 4GHz !



(Edit: I was in such a rush to post this, I forgot to proof-read the title)



[edit by Amorph: Fixed title. ]
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 134
    More details:



    Quote:

    The new processor will include Rambus interfaces called FlexIO Processor Bus and XDR RAM for memory. Together these interfaces provide up to 100 gigabytes per second of aggregate CPU bandwidth, said Rich Warmke, director of marketing for the memory interface division at Rambus.



    At 4GHz with eight logical processors, this thing or some derivative is undoubtedly going to be in the next PowerMac. This seems to be a multicore Power5 derivative--or the converse. Since this has been in development since 2001, it could be that the Power 5 SMT features are derived from Cell!



  • Reply 2 of 134
    In other NEWS Rambus is claiming :

    Quote:

    The new processor will include Rambus interfaces called FlexIO Processor Bus and XDR RAM for memory._ Together these interfaces provide up to 100 gigabytes per second of aggregate CPU bandwidth, said Rich Warmke, director of marketing for the memory interface division at Rambus.



  • Reply 3 of 134
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Aphelion

    NEWS



    "The Cell chip will go into production by midyear at IBM's East Fishkill, N.Y. wafer factory. Sony"



    If this time frame is correct then we may be looking at a WWDC June/July introduction of a new PowerMac. We could get speed bumps soon?
  • Reply 4 of 134
    Here's some wikipedia info direct from the conference attendees.



    Quote:

    While the Cell chip can have a number of different configurations, the workstation and PlayStation 3 version of Cell consists of one "Processing Element" ("PE"), and eight "Attached Processing Units" ("APU"). The PE is based on the POWER Architecture, basis of their existing POWER line and related to the PowerPC used by Apple Computer and others. The PE is not the primary processor for the system, but acts as a contoller for the other eight APUs, which handle most of the computational workload.



    Each APU is a VLIW 128-bit vector processor with a 1024-bit external bus. The bus is attached to an 8MB high speed memory, one for each APU, which is also visible to the PE to be loaded with data and programs as needed. The APU's memory is also connected to the next APU in line, allowing data to be processed by one APU and then handed off to the next at very high speed. In general use the system will load the APUs with small programs, known as apulettes, chaining the APUs together to handle each step in a complex operation. For instance, a set top box could load up apulettes for reading a DVD, video and audio decoding, and display, and the data would be passed off from APU to APU until finally ending up on the TV. Each APU is expected to give 32 GFLOPS of performance, thereby giving the entire Processing Unit 256 GFLOPS of performance.



    and,



    Quote:

    Cell allows for multiple processing units to be put onto one die, and the patent (http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-P...XT&p=1&p=1&S1=) showed four on one die, called the "Broadband Engine", potentially giving over 1 Teraflops of performance. It is unclear how many processing units will be incorporated into either the PlayStation 3 or workstations.



  • Reply 5 of 134
    powerdocpowerdoc Posts: 8,123member
    Sorry to kill the ambiance here, but I am not sure at all that the Cell is really a desktop chip.



    If you look at his architecture, it's a fantastic multimedia chip, perfect for MP encoding for example, but I doubt it's perfect for let's say bureautic applications or applications who do not use parallelar code.



    The cell is perhaps the paradigm of the RISC architecture : simple units (the power PC architecture are not really simple) working in parallelar at very high speed.

    But if you put complex code, the emulator would have to break it in many Apulets, and I think that we might see an huge performance penalty : adios the 256 gflop.

    Remember that the chip in the PS2 have many gigaflops of power, but it do not say it all.



    Cell architecture is may be not for tommorow in macs. The PPC 64 bit line, have a lot of room to increase. A dual core PPC 970, seems more a logical choice for 2006.
  • Reply 6 of 134
    tidristidris Posts: 214member
    This Cell chip could mean bad news for Apple hardware sales. Why? Because Sony and Toshiba will be selling Cell-based consumer level hardware that should in theory be able to run OSX and should be very price competitive with anything Apple can offer.
  • Reply 7 of 134
    dobbydobby Posts: 796member
    I suppose you could have a 'mini grid' of cells for a Desktop machine but I reckon it would be impracticle and expensive over the current technology.

    A PS3 will use Cell technology but a PS3 isn't a very flexible machine. This doesn't mean it can't be adapted for the Desktop but I'm sure there will be major coding changes to use the cell effieciently/normally.

    I will be a bit more attentive to both MS and Intel reports on future software/hardware paths as they will certainly be able to size up if the cell technology is a threat or not.



    Dobby.
  • Reply 8 of 134
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Tidris

    This Cell chip could mean bad news for Apple hardware sales. Why? Because Sony and Toshiba will be selling Cell-based consumer level hardware that should in theory be able to run OSX and should be very price competitive with anything Apple can offer.



    Glass half empty.



    Apple's smaller base and Hardware Abstration for OSX makes it "easier" for them to move to another hardware platform. You guys are missing real point. Intel and AMD are the ones that need to be back pedaling and launching FUD campaigns. If Cell tech provides average general computing and Gonzo multimedia it's still a better option as multimedia is going to be where the future profits are.
  • Reply 9 of 134
    tednditedndi Posts: 1,921member
    sony and Steve J.



    "who knows maby someday computers and music too"





    cell might just be that music....
  • Reply 10 of 134
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    What does this mean that Cell will be able to run any OS?
  • Reply 11 of 134
    ompusompus Posts: 163member
    From http://www.scee.presscentre.com/imag...etailsID=25555
    • SUMMARY:

    • Cell is a breakthrough architectural design -- featuring 8 Synergistic Processing Units (SPU) with Power-based core, with top clock speeds exceeding 4 GHz (as measured during initial laboratory testing).

    • Cell is OS neutral - supporting multiple operating systems simultaneously

    • Cell is a multicore chip comprising 8 SPUs and a 64-bit Power processor core capable of massive floating point processing

    • Special circuit techniques, rules for modularity and reuse, customized clocking structures, and unique power and thermal management concepts were applied to optimize the design



      CELL is a Multi-Core Architecture

    • Contains 8 SPUs each containing a 128 entry 128-bit register file and 256KB Local Store

    • Contains 64-bit Power ArchitectureTM with VMX that is a dual thread SMT design ? views system memory as a 10-way coherent threaded machine

    • 2.5MB of on Chip memory (512KB L2 and 8 * 256KB)

    • 234 million transistors

    • Prototype die size of 221mm2

    • Fabricated with 90nanometer (nm) SOI process technology

    • Cell is a modular architecture and floating point calculation capabilities can be adjusted by increasing or reducing the number of SPUs



      CELL is a Broadband Architecture

    • Compatible with 64b Power Architecture?

    • SPU is a RISC architecture with SIMD organization and Local Store

    • 128+ concurrent transactions to memory per processor

    • High speed internal element interconnect bus performing at 96B/cycle



      CELL is a Real-Time Architecture

    • Resource allocation (for Bandwidth Management)

    • Locking caches (via Replacement Management Tables)

    • Virtualization support with real time response characteristics across multiple operating systems running simultaneously

      CELL is Security Enabled Architecture

    • SPUs dynamically configurable as secure processors for flexible security programming



      CELL is a Confluence of New Technologies

    • Virtualization techniques to support conventional and real time applications

    • Autonomic power management features

    • Resource management for real time human interaction

    • Smart memory flow controllers (DMA) to sustain bandwidth


  • Reply 12 of 134
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Tidris

    This Cell chip could mean bad news for Apple hardware sales. Why? Because Sony and Toshiba will be selling Cell-based consumer level hardware that should in theory be able to run OSX and should be very price competitive with anything Apple can offer.



    I have a hard time seeing much bad news for Apple here. Whether or not Apple ends up using the Cell chip itself, the fabrication and research on this chip are going to find there way into the PowerMac sooner or later. This just shows that IBM is a great partner when it comes to hardware--not falling behind like Motorola did.
  • Reply 13 of 134
    vinney57vinney57 Posts: 1,162member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Tidris

    This Cell chip could mean bad news for Apple hardware sales. Why? Because Sony and Toshiba will be selling Cell-based consumer level hardware that should in theory be able to run OSX and should be very price competitive with anything Apple can offer.



    Nonsense.
  • Reply 14 of 134
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Ompus

    From http://www.scee.presscentre.com/imag...etailsID=25555
    • .

      .

      .

      CELL is a Multi-Core Architecture

    • Contains 8 SPUs each containing a 128 entry 128-bit register file and 256KB Local Store

    • Contains 64-bit Power ArchitectureTM with VMX that is a dual thread SMT design ? views system memory as a 10-way coherent threaded machine

    • 2.5MB of on Chip memory (512KB L2 and 8 * 256KB)

      .

      .

      .






    The Sony playstation is going to having Altivec in it!



    VMX = Altivec(TM)



    Also, remember that Altivec was one of the things IBM incorporated into the PPC970 at Apple's request, circa 2001. This thing is going to Macs, no doubt about it.



  • Reply 15 of 134
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    Gotta agree, wow I really didn't take the time to notice the VMX.



    The barriers towards Mac use are falling one by one.
  • Reply 16 of 134
    snoopysnoopy Posts: 1,901member
    Superficially, it looks like a Power5 derivative CPU, having 64 bit registers, SMT and VMX. This CPU is surrounded by 8 additional vector SPUs, which might be considered coprocessors?
  • Reply 17 of 134
    yevgenyyevgeny Posts: 1,148member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Tidris

    This Cell chip could mean bad news for Apple hardware sales. Why? Because Sony and Toshiba will be selling Cell-based consumer level hardware that should in theory be able to run OSX and should be very price competitive with anything Apple can offer.



    OMG no.



    Apple is fine. There is a whole lot more than the CPU in a computer. We don't even know if a CELL can replace any of Apple's CPUs or if it is just a coprocessor based on the PPC instruction set.
  • Reply 18 of 134






    It is very possible that OSX can run directly on the Cell chip's PPC core processor. Whether it can address the 8 SPE's ("synergistic processing units") through Tiger's Core services is something only Apple's system engineer's know.



    I don't expect to see any Apple product sporting a Cell chip until next year at the earliest, however I do expect the next generation of the 970 to appear in time for a Powermac this Summer followed by a low power version for the Powerbook.



    The next PowerPC for Apple will benefit from the Power5 features that are mentioned in the Cell.



    This is all good news for Apple.
  • Reply 19 of 134
    shawkshawk Posts: 116member
    Cell runs a flavor of Unix and has Altivec.

    Cell is going into HD TVs made by Sony.

    It's also described as ideal for audio, video and graphics.

    The rumored Tiger OS may have support for many parallel processors.

    Perhaps someone at Apple has noticed.
  • Reply 20 of 134
    smalmsmalm Posts: 667member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Existence

    234 million transistors and 221 mm^2 @ 4GHz !





    The editor must have been excited about the 4 GHz too.

    So he forgot to mention the speed of the POWER core - 1 GHz. 4 GHz is for the APUs only.



    I would prefere a 970MP @ 3 GHz
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