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February 9, 2006

e-mail to: Evan Morris

it's official: the PS3 is the next CDi/3DO
i'm going to assume that the thing in ieee that i read about...well, here, i'll just quote it:
"Then, at the flick of a switch, Minor turns the simulation over from his new Cell processor to a dual-processor Apple Power Mac G5, and the scenery freezes. The G5 almost audibly groans under the burden, though it's no slouch. In fact, it's currently the top of the line for PCs." Samuel K. Moore, from the January 2006 issue of IEEE Spectrum, also available online.
i'm a bit confused about what he means by "currently the top of the line for PCs." does he mean the quad-core power mac g5's? he doesn't say that. so, i'm just going to assume that he means a regular dual-processor power mac, which certainly isn't the top of the line at the moment, or really even at the time that he wrote this article probably two to three months ago. so, it's probably a dual-processor power mac running at 2.7 ghz max...without the cell's advantage of being designed with ibm's simultaneous multithreading technology built in. so, what you have here is pretty much, processor wise at least, equal to the single powerpc element component of the cell broadband engine processor. the cell's powerpc element runs at 3.2 ghz, incidentally.
so, from what i gather, you have code that's been optimized for the cell processor which includes its eight synergistic processing elements--of which the ps3 version supposedly only has seven of these elements operational as the eigth is "fused" to increase chip yields. this could mean that they're betting many of the chips produced will have a hardware failure within one of the elements, and that a much higher percentage of chips with seven operational spe's will be viable.
here's the code specially optimized for a processor with essentialy ten cores running if you calculate in the smt technology built into the powerpc element... smt is basically the same technology, from a layman's perspective, as intel's hyper-threading technology. so here comes the finger on the button to switch the code to run on the two cored g5 mac. of course it bogs down! this doesn't prove anything about anything.
i'm almost thinking that ibm and sony are in damage control over the media's impressions of the cell processor itself. actually, toshiba too. so, you've got toshiba footing part of the bill for a processor that's going to run blu-ray decoding on the ps3, while they are pushing hd-dvd which will compete directly in the consumer marketplace with blu-ray.
i'm all for new technology. i think new technology is great. but, there has never been a company that has understated the capabilities of their next pixel pushing or sprite pushing or polygon pushing machine. sony was showing videos of what "the playstation 2 could do in realtime" six years ago that look like maybe, possibly, might actually be achieved by this coming generation of machines.
microsoft is hovering over sony just like the moon in majora's mask hangs over clock town. and, man, i never understood that game at all. i mean, i finally understood how time worked and was amazed at the way nintendo was attempting to handle synchronous events. amazing, but never could get anywhere.
microsoft is about to annihilate sony and i really don't think that sony can stop time.

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