PlayStation 3 chip will go easy on developers

IBM touts the PS3's Cell processor at San Francisco road show; company promises easier-to-grasp learning curve.

The Cell processor that will power the next version of the PlayStation game console will also be adaptable for advanced scientific research, but you won't have to be a rocket scientist to program it. That is the pledge of one of the chief architects of the Cell, jointly developed by IBM, Sony, and Toshiba, who together on Friday sought to allay fears that the chip would create huge programming challenges for game developers just starting to learn their ways around the complex circuitry that powers the current PlayStation 2.

"We're very much aware of the need to balance between innovation in architecture and the ability to leverage that innovation," H. Peter Hofstee, a researcher in IBM's Systems and Technology division, said during a break at an IBM press event in San Francisco today. "The learning curve for this platform should be significantly better than previous ones."

The three companies announced their Cell plans three years ago, describing an advanced processor tailored for demanding multimedia tasks. The companies said earlier this week that they plan to begin test production of Cell chips early next year, with the first Cell-based products--workstation PCs for computer graphics production--set to arrive late in the year.

News source: GameSpot

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