Sunday, November 26, 2006

IBM to cash in on its chips

While Intel and AMD focused on a perceived need for speed, IBM followed an path of multi-core design and partnerships. IBM chips are in Wii, Xbox 360 and Sony Playstation 3 and it hopes to parley its recent success into billions of dollars over the next decade. Part of IBM's hope hinges on the Cell processor.

"From a technological perspective, we still have a tremendous amount of upside," said Bernie Meyerson, chief technologist for IBM's systems group. "We've only gone down this road one turn."

IBM is working with other companies, such as Mercury Computing Systems Inc., to adapt Cell and other chips for their own new devices. Cell powers a line of IBM servers and is being used in a supercomputer for the Los Alamos nuclear lab. Toshiba plans to use the chip in TVs.

However, even with Cell's performance boosts, it could have limited paths into other systems unless IBM can encourage many software developers to create applications that take advantage of Cell's unusual architecture.
Read an interesting article about IBM linked here at the Baltimore Sun.

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