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Sony and Nvidia Collaborate on Graphics, Physics, Multimedia Accelerator Board[08/02/2007 01:49 PM]
Nvidia Corp. and Sony Corp. said on Wednesday that they would demonstrate a special board that features two key components of the Sony PlayStation 3 game console at Siggraph trade-show later this month. While there is no information about usage models of such device, potentially it can be utilized in various special-purpose computers.
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.
Sony plans to demonstrate how the Cell Computing Board processes 4096x2160 images in real time, physics simulation as well as CG graphics rendering at Siggraph on August 7 – 9, 2007.
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