Sony, IBM, Toshiba give details of 'Cell' chip

IBM, Sony and Toshiba on Monday unveiled some key details on the powerful new "Cell" processor the three are jointly producing to run next-generation computers, game consoles and TVs.

Cloaked in secrecy and the object of much speculation since the three conglomerates announced the project in 2001, Cell will be 10 times more powerful than conventional chips and able to shepherd large chunks of data over broadband networks. In a joint release, the three companies gave a glimpse of their respective plans for Cell-powered products but were mum on technical details, which will be revealed Feb. 6-10 at the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco.

IBM, Sony and Toshiba are investing billions of dollars to develop and prepare for mass production of Cell, which is a multicore semiconductor composed of several processors that work together to handle multiple tasks at the same time. "In the future, all forms of digital content will be converged and fused onto the broadband network," Ken Kutaragi, executive deputy president and chief operating officer of Sony, said in the release. "Current PC architecture is nearing its limits."

News source: C|Net

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