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Cell Architect Jim Kahle: ~1 Teraflop on a chip by 2010.... so PS4 will be maybe a little more than

Discussion in 'Nvidia' started by AirRaid, Oct 26, 2006.

  1. AirRaid

    AirRaid Guest

    first of all before you read what the CELL architect has to say, the 90
    nm CELL processor in PS3 only gets around 100 GFLOPs in realworld

    not the 218 GFLOPs Sony said at E3 2005.
    (the Xenon CPU in X360 gets about 70 to 90 GFLOPs, out of that 115
    GFLOP peak)

    the newest CELL processors on 65 nm, with probably more SPEs, are
    getting around 200 GFLOPs according to Jim Kahle as you will read

    I'd speculate that if PS4 comes out in 2012 or so, they will be north
    of a TFLOP in real performance, 10 to 15 times more power than the
    CELL in PS3, and thus, an even smaller leap over PS3 than PS3 is over
    PS2 (a 30~35x leap).

    that's really funny because in 2001 when CELL was announced, IBM said
    Teraflops of computing power for consumer devices in 2006. they hit
    only 1/10th that with PS3. and nevermind the even more absurd boasting
    by Sony in 1999 that PS3 would 1000 times more powerful than PS2.

    ok now here's the word from IBM's CPU expert himself

    An Interview With Cell Architect Jim Kahle

    Thursday, October 26, 2006
    The PlayStation 3: An Interview With Cell Architect Jim Kahle

    Dean Takahashi, 12:01 AM in Dean Takahashi, Gaming

    Microprocessor_party_035 Jim Kahle is the chief architect of the Cell
    microprocessor and the visionary behind the multiprocessing beast that
    is the heart of the PlayStation 3. He led IBM's side of the chip
    alliance with Sony and Toshiba. He has been designing microprocessors
    since the 1980s and was one of the founding members of the Somerset
    Design Center, the chip design house formed by Apple, Motorola and IBM
    at the onset of the Power PC alliance. He was also the chief architect
    of IBM's Power 4 microprocessor which was used in IBM servers and
    Apple's G5 Macintosh machines. I caught up with him after his recent
    keynote at a Cadence Design Systems conference.

    DT: It seems like you finished the Cell chip designs early. The first
    prototypes came out in 2004 and this is 2006. Did you still need a lot
    of development time after that first tape out?
    JK: We used that first tape out to get the initial software up and
    running. There were modifications we did to the chip over time. The
    design center is still active and participating. Our roadmap shows we
    are continuing down the cost reduction path. We have a 65 nanometer
    part. We are continuing the cost reductions. We have another vector
    where we are going after more performance. We have talked about
    enhanced double-precision chips. Architecturally we have double
    precision but we will fully exploit that capability from a performance
    point of view. That will be useful in high-performance computing and
    open another set of markets.

    DT: That sounds like it's not a PlayStation 3 chip?

    JK: Yeah, it is a different vector. For us to extrapolate. We will push
    the number of special processing units. By 2010, we will shoot for a
    teraflop on a chip. I think it establishes there is a roadmap. We want
    to invest in it. For those that want to invest in the software, it
    shows that there is life in this architecture as we continue to move

    DT: Right now you're at 200 gigaflops?

    JK: We're in the low 200s now.

    : So that is five times faster by 2010?

    JK: Four or five times faster. Yes, you basically need about 32 special
    processing units.

    DT: AMD bought ATI Technologies and they signaled that a combined CPU
    and graphics processor is not so far off. They are going to do an
    initial crack at it for emerging markets in 2007. Is that something you
    see coming and is Cell anticipating this world already?

    JK: If you look at a gaming system, there is obviously a close
    relationship between graphics and the main processing elements. Over
    time we will look to see how effectively we can make the main processor
    and graphics tie together. I won't go beyond that.

    DT: With Cell and PlayStation 3, was there a lot of thought about
    whether you needed a graphics chip?

    JK: We explored that to understand the bounds of what we could do with
    the architecture. If you look at some of our ray tracing, ray casting
    techniques, they are very effective. People have worked on some
    software caches to help out the ray tracing. I wouldn't say that is
    graphics processing because ray tracing is a little different. We've
    explored the bounds on this to understand where it can contribute with
    pure graphics processing. Over time, we have been exploring that.

    DT: With Moore's Law, is it inevitable that they will wind up on one

    JK: If you look at the PlayStation 2, eventually the graphics did get
    integrated into the Emotion Engine. Sony has talked about that.
    Definitely from a cost reduction view. Now we have to look at it from a
    performance point of view too. That is something we have to study for
    the future. Even beyond PlayStation 3. I don't know if it is
    inevitable. We have to understand the pros and cons of it.

    AirRaid, Oct 26, 2006
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