Hell has frozen over

Nicholas Leippe nick at byu.edu
Mon Jun 6 14:37:02 MDT 2005

On Monday 06 June 2005 01:55 pm, Mitch Anderson wrote:
> from my reading, its doubtful they would have used the cell anyway.
> (atleast not as the main processor in a future powerpc) altho it is
> possible to still use it as a graphics render/coprocessor as Jobs had in
> his NeXT days.  My understanding of the Cell, while based on PPC, is
> still different enough that its not just a simple recompile.  Apple's to
> dependant on the AltiVec[1]  and the Cell's relatively weak in that
> deparment.

The cell is not 'relatively weak' in that department.  That is the exact 
department in which the cell is extraordinarily powerful.  Each cell contains 
8 APUs.  Each APU is itself an independent 128bit vector processor (and each 
has a whopping 128 registers--compare that to the resources available in cpus 
with AltiVec (32) or MMX/SSE (far fewer even)).  And they run at 4.6GHz.


A dual cpu system with quad cores would be required to even come close to the 
performance of a _single_ cell cpu.  Worse, the 8 cores are sharing 
synchronous memory w/memory protection whereas the 8 APUs have no memory 
protections to slow them down and can run completely asynchronously w/o 
bumping into each other on the bus.


Nicholas Leippe
Sales Team Automation, LLC
1335 West 1650 North, Suite C
Springville, UT  84663 +1 801.853.4090

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