First look at PlayStation 3 chip

The BBC are reporting on the first reports of some details about the PS3 chip, and its use in things other than the new Playstation. I expect Sony, IBM and Toshiba expect to make a tidy sum out of this, and I bet they will.

The three firms claim that the Cell chip will be up to 10 times more powerful than existing processors.

When put inside powerful computer servers, the Cell consortium expects it to be capable of handling 16 trillion floating point operations, or calculations, every second.

The chip has also been refined to be able to handle the detailed graphics common in games and the data demands of films and broadband media.

IBM said it would start producing the chip in early 2005 at manufacturing plants in the US. The first machines off the line using the Cell processor will be computer workstations and servers.

A working version of the PS3 is due to be shown off in May 2005 but a full launch of the next generation console is not expected to start until 2006.

As well as being inside the PlayStation 3, the chip will also be used inside high-definition TVs and powerful computers.

“In the future, all forms of digital content will be converged and fused onto the broadband network,” said Ken Kutaragi, Chief Operating Officer of Sony.

“Current PC architecture is nearing its limits.”

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