This CELL wants to kick Nvidia's ass

1 min read

Just the other day I posted about a new CELL add-on card that would give your workstation a whopping gut punch of power, should you ever need it. Unfortunately this is only the case if you were, say, trying to figure out of your dog has a tumor using your home-made MRI machine. Or trying to crack Sudoku puzzles. Seriously, what do you do when those puzzles get tough? Guess?

So clearly there are very few things at home you’d need it for. But Toshiba’s SpursEngine SE1000? Now we’re talking. This chip packs four CELL cores – I don’t really know if that’s significant, but my Sudoku-impoverished maths calculate that at almost two-thirds of a PlayStation 3. Not that you can make these comparisons, but it’s probably more important to highlight that the SpursEngine is going after the GPU market. Yes, that tough battle ground occupied by Nvidia and Ati AMD. Fortunately the marketers at Toshiba are not stupid, so the chip isn’t going in head-on. Instead, thanks to some powerful video decoding abilities, the customers being eyed are people who need serious video playback on their rigs. You can read more about it here, but here’s a quote to sound smart:

The SE1000 reference card fits into a 1x PCI Express 1.1 slot and runs the GPU at 1.5GHz. The chip’s capable of 48GFlops, Toshiba said – 12GFlops per SPE. The card consumes just 10-20W of power.

Last Updated: April 10, 2008

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