Mercury Plugs Cell Processor into x86 Workstations

Mercury Releases PCI Express Cell-Based Accelerator

by Anton Shilov
07/31/2006 | 10:52 PM

Mercury Computer Systems on Monday introduced its announced the Mercury Cell Accelerator Board (CAB) that carries a Cell processor and can be plugged into any PCI Express-enabled workstation. The company claims that the device may help those, who need to work with compute-intensive applications.

 

“We have been actively working with customers to migrate data-intensive applications to the Cell BE processor since late last year. With the CAB, customers can achieve supercomputer-like performance right inside their workstation,” said Randy Dean, vice president, business and technology development at Mercury.

The Cell accelerator board comes with a single Cell processor as well as appropriate memory and other devices. That CAB delivers up to 180GFLOPS of performance, according to Mercury, and is designed for applications like rendering, ray tracing, video and image processing, as well as signal processing. The product features Mercury MultiCore Plus Advantage, which is a sophisticated middleware that abstracts hardware capabilities and manages the distribution of data across multiple computing elements working in tandem.

Currently the add-in card, which may be plugged into any workstation with PCI Express bus, such as those running AMD Opteron or Intel Xeon, but not limited to them, supports only Linux operating system, though, Mercury also provides software development kits for Windows.

Production availability is planned for the first quarter of calendar 2007. Pricing for the Mercury Cell Accelerator Board starts at $7999 for a single board, with discounts available on higher volumes.