As reported IBM, Sony and Toshiba revealed details about the new "Super Computer on a chip" - the Cell Chip.
The Cell Chip features a multi-core design comprised of one Power PC and eight so called synergistic cores (SPEs). The prototype Cell chip is clocked at 4Ghz.
The Cell is to support multiple operating systems, such as conventional operating systems (including Linux), real-time operating systems for computer entertainment and consumer electronics applications as well as guest operating systems for specific applications, simultaneously - That is nice!.
2.5MB memory are on the Cell Chip. Rambus XDR and FlexIO technology allow up to 100 gigabyte/s memory transfer rates. The prototype chip is 221 mm2, integrates 234 million transistors, and is fabricated with 90 nanometer SOI technology. The Cell Chip goes into production later this year.
IBM, Sony and Toshiba said the Cell Chip is 10 times faster than the lastest PC processors. They also said that already early 2004. The announcements made about the Cell Chip which will power the upcoming Sony PS3 (Playstation 3) still do not say much on how in reality the new chip will out perform Intel based systems. It also still lets the question open what the PS3 will be able to do compared to the PS2. So the wait goes on until 2006 the supposed launch date for the Sony PS3.
Intel is actually not sitting around and doing nothing about the Cell Chip threat. Intel is scheduled to release a dual core CPU mid this year code name Smithfield. Intel also has something called Vanderpool technology (see Intel.com) that allows CPU's to run multiple Operating systems simulatniously.
See also IBM's Press-Release.
Cell Chip Opinions around the Web:
Tom's Hardware Guide