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Cell Processor Gains Military And Medical Applications

Representatives from IBM have announced that medical and military equipment maker Mercury Computer Systems is to use the Sony, Toshiba, and IBM co-produced Cell processor...

David Jenkins, Blogger

June 28, 2005

2 Min Read

Representatives from IBM have announced that medical and military equipment maker Mercury Computer Systems is to use the Sony, Toshiba, and IBM co-produced Cell processor as the core technology in a new range of embedded computers. The computer systems will be used for a range of applications including medical magnetic resonance image scanners and missile radar and sonar systems for military uses. Mercury will be the first company outside of the Cell's initial developers to use the processor technology, with current applications including only the PlayStation 3 and forthcoming high definition televisions from Toshiba. However, it's still likely that the PlayStation 3, which is scheduled to be launched in Spring 2006, will be the first consumer electronics device to feature the Cell chip - Sony's involvement in the Cell's construction was largely to help build a chip for its next-generation console. “The tremendous performance advantages afforded by the Cell processor will enable Mercury to address an even broader range of compute-intensive challenges for our customers,” said Jay Bertelli, president and CEO of Mercury. The Cell processor was originally developed by IBM, Toshiba and Sony Group and features eight synergistic processing elements plus a Power Architecture-based core. The Cell processor has peak performance in excess of 200 GFLOPS – which equates to 200 billion floating-point operations per second – as measured during initial hardware testing. The graphic and audio processing abilities of the Cell processor should prove particularly appealing to manufacturers, with rumors emerging of a possible deal with high-end audio maker Bose to help smooth automobile rides. Despite this interest from various companies outside of gaming the Cell technology has not met universal praise, with Steve Jobs recently confirming that he turned down overtures from Sony to use the Cell processor in next generation Apple Mac computers - indicating he was “disappointed” in the processor’s performance.

About the Author(s)

David Jenkins

Blogger

David Jenkins ([email protected]) is a freelance writer and journalist working in the UK. As well as being a regular news contributor to Gamasutra.com, he also writes for newsstand magazines Cube, Games TM and Edge, in addition to working for companies including BBC Worldwide, Disney, Amazon and Telewest.

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