NVIDIA and Sony are planning to show off a so-called Cell Computing Board at Siggraph. This board offers graphics, physics and multimedia acceleration:
According to a short statement by Sony, the so-called “Cell Computing Board” incorporates the high-performance Cell Broadband Engine microprocessor developed jointly by IBM, Sony and Toshiba and RSX graphics processor created by Nvidia and Sony. The combination of the two key-components of the PlayStation 3 “results in high computational performance capable of handling large amounts of data at high speed while also achieving reductions in size and energy consumption”.
Sony currently positions the new solution for multimedia computing applications, such as computer graphics and scientific computations, which require massive data quantities to be processed. Peak processing power of the Cell Computing Board is 230GFLOPS, according to the statement, while peak energy consumption is 400W, which is 20W higher compared to the PlayStation 3 game console. The current Cell Computing Board can be embedded in a 1U (unit) sized server and mounted on a 19” rack, which points to enterprise usage scenario of the device.
In fact, Cell processors are already used in mission-critical imaging applications in solutions by Mercury, however, those products do not incorporate Nvidia’s graphics processor, whereas the Cell Computing Board does, which means that even games designed for Sony PlayStation 3 can run on the hardware.