Sony's long-awaited parallel processor, Cell, will debut later this year in prototype digital content creation workstations, as part of a joint agreement with IBM.
The workstations will be just one element of a 'Cell-based operating environment', which will include specific middleware and architectures developed by Sony and Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI). At this point in time, the intended market for the Cell-based workstations will be movies and games.
'Today, movies and games are sharing the same world and characters on a common database. Within a few years, both forms of entertainment will be fused and become indistinguishable, offering a seamless experience in the home,' said Executive Deputy President and COO of Sony Corporation Ken Kutaragi.
'Together with IBM, the three companies aim to offer technology that will accelerate the paradigm shift in digital entertainment.'
Cell processors, running in parallel, will provide massive amounts of bandwidth and computational power for resource hungry applications, including graphics and science simulations. The potential for the technology is far-reaching. According to the press release: 'Within a couple of years, tremendous floating point calculations will be necessary for complex physics simulation and control of digital characters in digital content creation.'
Sony, SCEI and IBM are aiming for a release date of Q4 2004.