IBM backstabbing sony and neglected Apple ? (long read)


i have a monster
EDIT: this is copy pasted material from a journalist who doesnt want to reveal himself##

This started out in 2k4, some of the things here have panned out, some have yet to happen.
What you will read here pertains only research already conducted and information received about a year ago.
Despite being so old, a lot of the info however has proven to be true and the info has prove to be totaly credible.

Since summer 2k4 I have received a lot of information that I didn’t regard too highly at first but which over time has been proven right( early December news of the Naughty Dog racing and FPS games), news about the processors inside the next Xbox and the Revolution etcetera.

One of the things I heard that failed to grab my attention late summer/early fall 2k4 was with regards to Cell and the processors inside the Xbox2.

I talked about it with a few people and further forgot about it.

Forgot about it until my contact inside IBM emerging technologies in Germany contacted me again with new information, information which so far just like the old information he gave me has proven to be right.

Let me give the story in short:

Sony, Toshiba and IBM enter a joint venture to develop and market CELL, a multicore processor.

All patents will be jointly owned.

All but one, IBM argues successfully that the Power PC core (and this is very important) and all related technologies are theirs and theirs only.

IBM then goes on and uses the knowledge they gain designing CELL to make a different version Power PC processor better suited for use in high end videogame machines.

The development of this new processor goes at the expense of Apple who has been waiting for a long time for new desktop Power PC chips.

IBM doesn’t deliver them because their departments are working on CELL and a new core that uses CELL technology and thus is more geared towards specific tasks such as floating points.

Sony gets furious when they find out that in essence they have helped pay for and develop the processor that will power the next Xbox and the Nintendo Revolution, and even worse there is nothing they can do against it from a legal point of view since IBM put the lines ALL RELATED TECHNOLOGIES in their contract.

Apple is unhappy because the development of the new Power PC processors and CELL has been at their expense, the newer faster Mac´s they wanted to introduce long ago still are not there simply because IBM isn’t delivering the processors they wanted.

Neither Sony nor Apple however can do anything against it and just have to grin and bear it.

It is claimed now that the CELL fuck up is one of the things that have cost Kutaragi dearly and caused his demotion.

Here are some quotes from one of my sources, I haven’t included his name for obvious reasons but if you agree to run a story on this I can get you in contact with him and others so you can check the validity of the claims( I need to clear some things with some people and do some more checking myself as well since something like this needs to be checked as thoroughly as possible):

This was quite a while ago

[12:50]xxx: hi xxx

[12:50]xxx: is it common knowledge already that the xbox 2 will also be powered by a version of the "cell" processor?

[12:51] xxx: you gotta be kidding right

[12:51]xxx: it probably won't be named "cell", but it's essentially the same development from IBM Technology Group

from IBM point of view its understandable - all we care about is to make money with powerpc technology

This was more recent

[18:39] xxx: yes, as I told you some weeks ago - IBM Technology Group was very clever on selling their PPC design as core to all console manufacturers. however I'm not aware of any legal issue between sony and ibm... and to be honest, its hard to NOT reuse knowledge gathered from one engagement (ps3) in others (xbox2, revolution). i dont know the details, but i think sony wont have a good standing in a legal review. PPC is a regular IBM product...

The following is a compilation of internal and external documents from within IBM.

Some of the info here was send out as press releases while some of it was circulated internally on the IBM intranet and isn’t/wasn’t supposed to be leaked:

IBM scores in growing gaming industry

November 03, 2003

Microsoft's selection of IBM to provide the chip technology for the next generation of Xbox solidifies IBM's position as a key technology provider within an industry that is predicted to reach $30 billion by 2007. With the announcement of this new deal with Microsoft, IBM is now the leading supplier to the gaming industry.

The growth of the online game market will be driven not only by PC-based services, but also by the rapidly growing sales of online video game console systems, such as the Xbox. The installed base for these systems is expected to reach over 100 million units by 2008.

"We think that the successors to the Sony PlayStation 2, the Microsoft Xbox, and the Nintendo GameCube are likely to be the fastest selling video game systems ever," says David Cole, president of DFC Intelligence, a strategic market research and consulting firm focused on interactive entertainment and the emerging video game market.

The majority of market reports break down the different game platforms for three major regions: Japan, Europe and the United States. According to Cole, "We think Microsoft and the Xbox could be potentially strong in Europe, a region that has been somewhat neglected by video game hardware manufacturers."

The company plays a key role in the production of all three major game consoles.
In addition to supplying processor technology for Microsoft’s future Xbox products, IBM is partnering with Sony and Toshiba to develop the Cell microprocessor for future Sony consumer devices.
It is also manufacturing the PowerPC CPU for Nintendo’s current GameCube.

The invention and history of the Power Architecture

IBM builds first prototype computer employing RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer) architecture. Based on an invention by IBM scientist John Cocke in the early 1970's, the RISC concept simplified the instructions given to run computers, making them faster and more powerful. Today, RISC architecture is the basis of most workstations and UNIX servers and is widely viewed as the dominant computing architecture of the future.

IBM announces its new RISC System-based computer line, the RS/6000 (now called IBM eServer pSeries), running AIX V3. Architecture of the system is given the name POWER (POWER1), standing for Performance Optimization With Enhanced RISC.

IBM, Apple and Motorola announce a series of agreements, including: products to link Apple Macintosh personal computers into IBM networks; new RISC-based PowerPC processors for PCs and low-cost workstations; and a new open-systems environment in which both IBM AIX and Macintosh software programs can run on RISC-based systems from both companies, among other technology agreements.

IBM introduces the Scalable POWERparallel System, the first in a family of microprocessor-based supercomputers using RS/6000 technology. IBM pioneers the technology of joining multiple computer processors and breaking down complex, data-intensive jobs to speed their completion.

IBM and Motorola introduce the PowerPC 601, jointly developed with Apple. The PPC601 contains over 2.8 million transistors and runs at 50 MHz.
IBM launches 66 MHz POWER2 processor for RS/6000 systems.

IBM announces Scalable POWERparallel Systems 2 (SP2). The Cornell Theory Center receives massively parallel IBM Scalable POWERparallel Systems SP2 supercomputer, capable of performing 136 billion calculations per second. CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics, takes delivery of most powerful IBM supercomputer ever ordered in Europe: a 64-node, AIX-based IBM SP2.
IBM announces the completed development and fabrication of the PowerPC 604 microprocessor, the most powerful high-volume microprocessor in the industry. IBM technicians develop the fastest "lossless" data compression chip available, capable of processing up to 40 megabytes per second. In July, IBM ships its one millionth PowerPC 601 microprocessor.
IBM introduces the PowerPC 403GA the first embedded controller based on the Power Architecutre.

The PowerPC 64-bit RISC processor was introduced in the IBM AS/400 operating system.
In August, Apple introduces the PowerPC 603e based PowerBook 500, the first notebook computer based on the Power Architecture.

IBM introduces the new 32-bit, 135 MHz POWER2 Super Chip (P2SC) for RS/6000 systems. The P2SC is a single chip implementation of POWER2 architecture, containing 15 million transistors on a single chip using high-density CMOS technology.

IBM's Deep Blue supercomputer played a series of chess matches and defeated the reigning World Chess Champion, Garry Kasparov. Deep Blue is a 32-node IBM RS/6000 SP computer, which utilizes the 32-bit POWER2 Super Chip (P2SC), running AIX. During the match with Kasparov, it averaged 126 million chess positions per second. Deep Blue now resides at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in Washington, DC.
IBM delivers to NASA a 32-bit PowerPC microprocessor, capable of 35 million instructions per second (MIPS), for its Pathfinder Mission to Mars. The chip was altered at the Lockheed Martin laboratories in Virginia to create the radiation-hardened RAD 6000 onboard flight computer, integrated into the Sojourner rover.

Blue Pacific, jointly developed by IBM and the U.S. Energy Department's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, is introduced. Blue Pacific is a 176-node 332 MHz PowerPC 604 based system, which can perform 3.9 trillion calculations per second (15,000 times faster than the average desktop computer) and has over 2.6 trillion bytes of memory (80,000 times more than the average PC). It would take a person using a calculator 63,000 years to perform as many calculations as this computer can perform in a single second.
IBM delivers the world's first copper-based microprocessors PowerPC 740/750 operating at 400 MHz. Microprocessors that incorporate copper wiring boost chip performance by about one-third.
The new 64-bit POWER3 processor unifies the POWER2 architecture (P2SC) with the PowerPC architecture, and was optimized for technical applications. The POWER3 can perform up to two billion operations per second and is more than twice as powerful as the POWER2 Super Chip inside IBM's "Deep Blue" supercomputer.
IBM details its first Power based embedded SOC (System on Chip) processor core. The PowerPC 405 core will later be combined with in various forms with other IP to form embedded SOC microprocessors as well as customized Power based ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuits) solutions.

IBM Research initiates a $100 million project to build a new supercomputer capable of more than one quadrillion operations per second (one petaFLOP). Code-named "Blue Gene," the new Power-based supercomputer will perform 500 times faster than other supercomputers, and will be used at first to simulate the folding of a complex protein.
IBM ships its one-millionth copper PowerPC chip, just one year after shipping its first copper chip.
In June, IBM introduces the PowerPC 405GP the first SOC (System on Chip) microprocessor based on the 405 core. Later in the year IBM details the next generation embedded core, the PowerPC.
IBM and Nintendo announces a multi-year $1 billion technology agreement to support Nintendo's next home video game console, GAMECUBE. The chip is an extension of the PowerPC architecture and it is designed to be more powerful than those found in any current or planned home video game entertainment system, providing players with dramatically better graphics and more realistic action.
IBM outlines an ambitious strategy to supply chips to the communications industry, selling its chip technology to Cisco Systems and taking several steps to show it is serious about supplying microprocessors and other parts to the companies that make such switches, routers and other communications gear.

IBM announces it is combining high-speed PowerPC processors and other television set-top box (STB) components onto a single "system-on-a-chip" that will give STB makers significant benefits in system performance, price and design. The system-on-a-chip gives companies like Samsung the flexibility to quickly adapt to changing consumer demands and the introduction of new, advanced applications.
IBM renames its POWER-based server, RS/6000: eServer pSeries.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory activates ASCI White, an IBM supercomputer, capable of 12.3 trillion calculations per second, to simulate the effects of a nuclear detonation. Developed by IBM under the National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA) Accelerated Strategic Computing Initiative (ASCI) Partnership, the system is powerful enough to process an Internet transaction for every person on Earth in less than a minute. IBM built the Accelerated Strategic Computing Initiative — White (ASCI White) supercomputer for the U.S. Department of Energy, so it can accurately test the safety and effectiveness of the nation's aging nuclear weapons stockpile.
IBM Launches POWER4-based eServer p690 ("Regatta") as the world's most powerful UNIX server, crowning a five-year effort to deliver a new class of UNIX system that incorporates microprocessor breakthroughs and mainframe technologies. When tackling the most complex problems, multiple p690 servers can be linked together to create supercomputers powered by more than 1,000 processors.
Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI), IBM and Toshiba announce plans to research and develop advanced chip architecture for a new wave of devices in the emerging broadband era. Code-named "Cell," the new microchips will employ the world's most advanced research technologies and chip-making techniques, with features smaller than 0.10 microns — 1,000 times thinner than a human hair. The result will be consumer devices that are more powerful than IBM's Deep Blue supercomputer, operate at low power and access the broadband Internet at ultra high speeds.
IBM introduces the PowerPC 750FX doubling the L2 cache to 512KB.

IBM announces the 64-bit PowerPC 970, a high-performance PowerPC microprocessor for use in a variety of applications, including desktops, and entry server products. The chip is derived from IBM's POWER4 server architecture to provide high performance and includes specialized circuitry known as a single instruction multiple data (SIMD) unit. Additionally, it includes "Elastic I/O" one of the industry's fastest processor buses.
IBM launches the faster POWER4+ on pSeries, then integrates POWER4+ across entire pSeries product line in 2003.
IBM introduces the 32-way eServer iSeries 890 that nearly doubles the processing power of the previous top-of-the-line iSeries, the i840. The i890 features the 1.3 gigahertz POWER4 microprocessor with 174 million transistors.
New York State Governor George Pataki joined IBM President and Chief Executive Officer Sam Palmisano to announce the opening of the IBM 300 millimeter (mm) semiconductor facility, believed to be the most advanced of its kind. This facility is a major addition to the IBM Microelectronics business, designed to satisfy growing customer demand for IBM's leading-edge chip technologies through high-end "foundry" manufacturing services, as well as IBM's custom and standard chip offerings.
IBM introduces the PowerPC 440GP and 440GX embedded processors focused on embedded networking and storage applications. The 440GX includes on chip TCP/IP acceleration and scores higher on all 5 EEMBC benchmarks then any other System on Chip processor.

IBM introduces an open licensing program for it's 32-bit embedded PowerPC microprocessor cores.
Apple and IBM introduce the world's first 64-bit desktop processor-the PowerPC G5. The Power Mac G5's processor runs at speeds up to 2.0 GHz. Apple declares the new Power Mac G5, "the world's fastest personal computer."
IBM announces activation of the prototype Blue Gene/L, a new supercomputer roughly the size of a 30-inch television that will have far-reaching implications for science and industry and the way we solve complex problems. The completed Blue Gene/L supercomputer to be delivered to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in 2005, will be a 65,536-node (PowerPC), 64 rack system operating at peak 360 teraflops, and taking up about the same space as half of a tennis court.
IBM introduces the POWER4+ on the entry eServer pSeries 630. The same year, IBM announces full integration of POWER4+ across the pSeries server line, with the p615 completing integration of POWER4+.
IBM announces the BladeCenter JS20, introducing its 64-bit PowerPC technology to blade servers for the first time, giving customers greater choice and return on investment, and allowing them to rapidly and cost-effectively expand their computing capabilities.
IBM introduces the PowerPC 750GX doubling the L2 cache on the previous 750 processor from 512KB to 1MB.

IBM announces it has developed a new method of manufacturing low power, high performance microprocessors using an industry-first combination of silicon-on-insulator (SOI), strained silicon and copper wiring technologies. The company's award-winning 64-bit PowerPC 970FX microprocessor will be the first chip built using this trio of IBM technology breakthroughs. Early PowerPC 970FX chips produced with the new technology deliver significant power savings, while performing at an equal or higher clock speed than comparable processors.
IBM ships the 4,000th eServer p690 — the world's most popular high-end UNIX server, a system based on IBM's POWER architecture.

June 16, 2004
The Pacific Northwest Technical Experts Council presents
Jim Kahle, IBM Fellow, presents on the Cell processor, June 23.

IBM Fellow Jim Kahle will present on Cell processor technology, Wednesday, June 23, from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m., in the Balance-Symmetry conference rooms, DES2.

IBM recently won the "Triple Crown" of the gaming industry by earning contracts with Xbox, Sony, and Nintendo. One third of the crown is being developed in Austin. The STI (Sony-Toshiba-IBM) Center is developing a new gaming architecture from the ground up, an architecture in which Linux plays a key role.

A Cell of a chip

Key players weigh in

Lisa Su, vice president of technology development and alliances, STG, and Jim Kahle, IBM Fellow and lead architect for Cell, STG, have been involved with the Cell project from day one. Here are their thoughts on some significant aspects of this announcement.
Project history

Lisa Su: We announced the Austin design center with Sony and Toshiba in March of 2001, and before that we spent about a year defining the architecture. It was unique in that we had the ability to start with a clean sheet of paper, under the direction of both Ken Kutaragi of Sony and John Kelly of IBM. ISSCC marks the first time we are talking about the technical details of the project.

Jim Kahle: With the clean sheet, we stepped back and looked at a number of aspects of the Cell, such as chip design, system design and power management. The partnership allowed us to think outside of the box. And the consumer electronics link gave us a new level of human interchange, and a new way of designing computers.
Key details

JK: The magnitude of the multi-core design is very important. Each cell chip has nine processors on board, and with the central Power core having two threads, it's more like a 10-way processor model. We optimized the whole system architecture around multi-core, taking the chip to the next level of performance.

LS: Cell represents a confluence of lots of technologies. For instance, virtualization allows multiple operating systems to run at the same time, including open operating systems such as Linux. In designing Cell, we employed techniques that were developed over many years for use in our high-end Power servers, but with the advances of semiconductor technology, we are able to bring these techniques into consumer devices. This will enable a whole new set of applications that have yet to be developed.
Prospective uses

JK: Cell's synergistic process elements, or SPEs, are able to handle large amounts of graphics, improving media processing capability. In addition, the chip will be able to manage compute-intensive type applications.

LS: Cell will enable a wide range of applications, such as next-generation game machines, home servers and digital media servers. A smaller version of Cell could conceivably be used for HDTV, and a larger version for content-creation workstations for the entertainment industry or even scientific computing applications.
Chip speed

JK: We've seen speeds of Cell greater than 4 GHz in the lab, and speeds of isolated SPE as high as 5.6 GHz. We approached the design with the idea of attaining high-performance frequency.

LS: You might want to think of Cell as the world's "most powerful" chip. And although frequency is important, even more important is the parallelism — being able to run on nine cores allows the ability to do a large number of operations simultaneously.
Power Architecture

LS: It was important for Sony and IBM to start with a mature architecture for the general purpose microprocessor core so that we could build on a stable programming base. And since IBM's strategy is to have an open Power Architecture, this is an excellent example of how the Power Architecture can be leveraged into new markets such as the gaming and entertainment industry.

JK: Power Architecture is a great base for conventional processing and we extended its capabilities for extreme media processing and real-time behavior for human interactions. It adds a whole new dimension on how to program.

LS: Cell will be a 90 nanometer SOI chip with more than 230 million transistors, and will be produced both in the 300mm fab in East Fishkill and Sony's 300mm fab in Nagasaki. We'll start production in 2005.

JK: As far as OEM is concerned, we'll approach the industry through IBM Engineering & Technology Services for third-party services and applications, and we have already received significant interest.
Growth opportunities

JK: Cell technology will allow IBM to go into new and emerging areas, and show leadership in the gaming area. This is a tremendous opportunity for all three companies.

LS: Cell uses the strength of all three partners — it starts with IBM's leadership silicon-on-insulator technology and microprocessor design expertise, combined with Sony's market and system insight and Toshiba's semiconductor experience — to apply this technology in new markets, such as digital media, entertainment and consumer electronics. It is a great example of the "sum is greater than the individual parts." Sony is one of our deepest technology partners — we've spent a combined $400 million in joint microprocessor development with Sony and Toshiba, Sony and Toshiba are partners in our SOI process development alliance, and Sony has invested $325 million in the fab in East Fishkill.
Confluence of technology

LS: We often refer to the confluence of technology in Cell. That includes features like high frequency, parallel multi-thread, efficient architecture and state-of-the-art virtualization. When you think about it, it's pretty amazing to have this type of chip and this type of processing power going into a game system.

JK: And we've also added autonomic power management, real-time resource management for human interaction and smart memory flow controllers.

Cell timeline: IBM-Sony-Toshiba development partnership
In 2001, IBM, Sony and Toshiba announced plans to research and develop an advanced chip architecture. (March 12, 2001)
The collectively invested more than $400 million to research and design a "supercomputer-on-a-chip."
Code named "Cell," the processor employs the world's most advanced chip-making technologies, including IBM innovations, such as copper wires and silicon-on-insulator (SOI) transistors
The Cell processor is being created at a joint development center in Austin
In 2002, IBM, Sony and Toshiba signed a multi-year agreement to jointly develop advanced semiconductor technologies based on silicon-on-insulator SOI) and other IBM materials advances. In a separate agreement, IBM committed to transferring the latest SOI technologies to Sony and Toshiba. (April 2, 2002)
Sony Group recently invested $325 million to facilitate production of Cell processors in IBM's state-of-the-art 300mm semiconductor manufacturing facility. This capacity investment is intended to help rapidly establish volume production of Cell and other chips designed with the process technology the three companies are working on at a joint development lab in Austin. (Feb, 2, 2004)
Sony Group has licensed access to IBM's Power microprocessor technology for use in next-generation digital consumer electronics products. Under the agreement, Sony Group will work with IBM to develop customized system-on-a-chip products that leverage the leading-edge performance, low-power consumption and advanced function of the Power Architecture.
IBM and Sony announced plans to develop a digital content creation workstation — the first computing application planned for Cell. (May 11, 2004)
IBM, Sony and Toshiba will announce important milestones in the Cell project at ISSCC. (Nov. 29, 2004)
At ISSCC, IBM, Sony and Toshiba reveal key details of the Cell chip — an innovative design featuring eight synergistic cores together with a Power-based core, clock speeds greater than 4 GHz, and more than 10 times the performance of the latest PC processors. (Feb. 7, 2005)

Updated on 4 February 2005

Global Logistics > Global Logistics Americas >
Austin Restricted Technologies (Archived)

4E001 Squadron (formerly known as Armada or Fifth Fleet).
- the Squadron H Multi Chip Module (Four- Power 5 microprocessors, Four L-3 Cache Memory chips and the substrate), which is the item that is "peculiarly responsible" for the system exceeding the control level of 33,000 MTOPS
- the technology development and test associated with the Squadron H MCM; the intellectual property behind the integration of the microprocessor, the L-3 Cache Memory chips and the substrate (Electrical analysis of the "off chip" nets is the key example); documentation associated with the completed module; the Engineering Manufacturing Tests specifically for the Squadron H MCM
- i & p Server System Architecture Groups that are responsible for our future design definitions
4E001 ALL SWITCHES (includes SP/Federation/Twister/Tornado/Hurricane/Monsoon)
4E001 Pecos Chip Set (aggregation)
- Twister (Vigil Box)
- Tornando (DarkStar Box)
- Thunder (Man ‘O War Box)
4E001 SCC Chip Set (aggregation for S390)
4E001 NUMA-IQ Link (Bachelor)
4E001 Intel Scalability Node Controller for Bachelor (Intel 870 Chipset)
4E001 T-Saurus Workbook
4E001 Blue Light/Blue Jean
4E001 Darkhorse/Ivy Grant/Zebra Crossbar Chip
4E001 Ext Interconn of Digital Computers >125 GB/sec)
4E001 Broadband Engine

3D003 Semiconductor CAD S/W
3E002 STI Playstation Processor
3E002 Hitachi Nintendo Processor
3E002 Power PC Chips (4/6) / GPUL
3E002 Technology/Design Associated w/eClipZ
3E002 Compiler for Workbench for Power4
3E002 Atlas MP CPU/SP
3E002 Phantom - SOC
3E002 Intel Orange & Red Books
3E002 PPC Gekko aka Diamondback, PPC750 series,
PPC970 Blade Northbridge aka U3 Heavy,
U4 Heavy CPC925, TeraZed, Antares
3E002 Tech for dev/prod of proc w/CTP >530 MTOPS
4E001 SMA3 Adapter Microcode (aka Canopus &
4D001 SMA3 Adapter S/W and Verification
4E001 Squadron H/H+/SH (except as noted above)
4E001 Tech for dev/prod of equip for Analog-to-Digital
Conversions (restrictions)
4E001 Optical Link/Repeater ASIC - eClipZ
4E992 NETI - NET instrumentation tool
4E992 GCC for operating system component
5D001/5E001 Radio Equipment (Restrictions)
5E001 Spread spectrum tech.
5E001 Laser equipment for telecommunications

4E992 Squadron MI/LER/LE/E4/E1/E4+/E1+
4E992 Regatta SH+/MI/LER/LE/MI+/LER+/E1/E4 4E992 Regatta H/H+ COMPUTERS
(changed 10/29/02 per Wallin < 28K MTOPS)
4E992 Ext Interconn of Digital Computers (<125 GB/sec)
4E992 Dynamic Reconfigurations (DR)
4E992 Graphics Accelerators
4E992 Man-O-War System Architecture
4E992 Metaserver
4E992 SP Adapter for TBS, Colony, Corsair, and ColonMX
4E992 TRIPS - Tera-op Reliable Intel
4E992 Color Displays/Monitors >120 Resolable elements
4E992 K42/Sledgehammer

Karaoke anyone?

E&TS sings a new song
Article summary

In October of 2004, IBM Engineering & Technology Services realigned its business around an industry model designed to provide its practices and delivery organizations with an improved focus for clients and prospects. The industry segments are: aerospace and defense; consumer electronics; medical; automotive; semiconductor; industrial automation; communications; public and finance.

During the next several months, STGw3 will look at these segments with in-depth reports on opportunities, clients, and business strategies. In this piece, the second in the series, we report on the consumer electronics industry.

Not many people associate IBM with karaoke, digital cameras or mobile devices beyond ThinkPads. But that's changing.

Sure, most folks know that IBM creates the advanced technology to drive the world's fastest supercomputers and the most powerful servers. What many of those same people fail to realize is that IBM engineers are now routinely taking that same technology and adapting it for use in the consumer marketplace.

Examples abound in the gaming industry, with IBM boasting the triple crown, providing technology for Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft. The recent Cell microprocessor announcement, for instance, is opening opportunities for E&TS to help make Cell the centerpiece of the digital home and create Cell-based products in other spaces, including applications in both the aerospace and defense and medical industries.

"IBM is not a consumer company, we are a relationship company," said Paul Ledak, vice president, consumer electronics industry practice, E&TS. "And we have amazing technology that can add value for virtually any client in the consumer electronics space. It's safe to say that those clients recognize that IBM has the technology and the ability to integrate it."

All the key elements are in place for IBM to make a splash in this space — Power-based processors and system-on-chip technology along with the depth and breadth of IBM experience across divisions, from STG to Research, services partners like BCS and IGS, and embedded software. All that, and a lot of smart people with innovative ideas.

"We possess the underlying technology to drive change through what I would call a digital media transformation," said Ledak. "This is a wonderful opportunity for both IBM and E&TS."

Many consumer opportunities exist in Japan, and Ledak and his E&TS team are charged with identifying the opportunity in key sub-segments of that market, creating relationships and leveraging those relationships to drive business.
E&TS engineers created an on-demand karaoke system for Xing, a subsidiary of Brother Industries.
Karaoke machines

Take Brother Industries, for example, an interesting company that has a potpourri of businesses, including printers, sewing machines, cell phone ring tones, and karaoke machines. Karaoke is as popular in Japan as professional football is in the United States. The E&TS Japan team, using a combination of an IBM ThinkPad wireless handheld mobile device, a set-top box based on the PowerPC 4xx family, and IBM software crafted an on-demand karaoke system for Xing, a subsidiary of Brother.

The IBM solution features a smaller form factor, advanced power management, and faster search capabilities. So now, Paul McCartney and Alicia Keys wannabees everywhere can use a wireless connection and simple search system to find thousands of songs instantly and display the lyrics on a screen.

Other E&TS innovations include set-top box chip deals with Shanghai Belling and Scientific Atlanta and a printer deal with Kyocera.
And onward

As for future opportunities, the E&TS consumer electronics team hopes to leverage IBM's recent deal with Kodak to develop and build next-generation CMOS sensors for digital cameras and camera phones. IBM's Power Architecture technology, with its combination of rapid processing and low-power, is a fit for digital image processing.

Additional growth opportunities include portable video devices and the potential to collaborate with Apple on future iPODs.

"There is a revolution taking place in consumer electronics," said Ledak. "The much talked about digital convergence of communications and computing is finally happening, and we are planning to take full advantage with our innovative technology."

For more information on this story, contact Rick Bause (

IBM Technology Group plays a key role in the production of all three major game consoles. In addition to supplying processor technology for Microsoft's future Xbox products, IBM is partnering with Sony and Toshiba to develop the Cell microprocessor for future Sony consumer devices. It is also manufacturing the PowerPC CPU for Nintendo's current GameCube.

n essence it talks about how IBM backstabbed Sony and neglected Apple when designing CELL.
This is a huge scoop which never got published becouse the collective videogamepress chickened out fearing reprisals from Sony and which the mainstream press never cared for.
So sadly what could have ben the biggest story of late 2004 was never published in any shape or form.
Now it is, here comments are welcome :)

this all above may or may not be compatible with my personal beliefs or opinions
Last edited by a moderator:
When saying the "cell f**k up" when talking about Ken, is that meaning the chip is a F up or just the deal that allows IBM to use i in other consoles?

second, I really fail to see how the 360 CPU could be a cause for a fight between Sony and IBM. It's pretty much the PPC so what is the big deal here? It has always been an IBM product.
Late 2004? So hows the relationship between Sony and IBM now?...i'm puzzled


..this is going to be a fun thread..

Hey69 I have to say right now, since you're directly responsible for that blu-ray rumor thread that L-B started a while ago, this article automatically has very little pull with me. I've talked myself in the past about how Sony must feel with the XeCPU cores being as similar as they are, but that being said it's obvious that Sony could have used such a design if in fact they had wanted; indeed it was IBM's initial proposition for the project.

So though there's that hint of 'betrayal' in a sense, in fact STI got the exact chip they all agreed on, and of course since IBM wasn't bound by some sort of exclusivity agreement, Sony should be able to handle the fact that IBM worked with Microsoft as well.

I don't doubt a fair bit of what you wrote, but at the same time it seems like a lot of fluff wrapped around a sensationalist headline. Knowing you're past attempts, would I be mistaken? ;)

PS - As for Ken I doubt that IBM/MS had *anything* to do with his internal position at Sony.
xbdestroya : if it wasnt clear, i copy / pasted the info here. it's not originating from me.

i wrote at the end of the post :
this all above may or may not be compatible with my personal beliefs or opinions
hey69 said:
xbdestroya : if it wasnt clear, i copy / pasted the info here. it's not originating from me.

i wrote at the end of the post :
this all above may or may not be compatible with my personal beliefs or opinions

There was an end to that post?!!! :oops:

Well you'll grant the similarities to your indirect blu-ray thread I'm sure. ;)

Anyway reading through that though I just don't understand what the big 'betrayal' is. Sure IBM helped Microsoft, but it's not as if they undermined Cell.
Makes a lot of sense actually. But I don't understand why Sony would be upset, Cell is superior in just about every way to 360's CPU...
xbdestroya said:
Well you'll grant the similarities to your indirect blu-ray thread I'm sure. ;)

Anyway reading through that though I just don't understand what the big 'betrayal' is. Sure IBM helped Microsoft, but it's not as if they undermined Cell.

Would Xenon be IBMs image of what Cell should have been? Hmmmmmmmmm.........


I'm going to be dwelling on this all day. I love being unemployed
BlueTsunami said:
Would Xenon be IBMs image of what Cell should have been? Hmmmmmmmmm.........


I'm going to be dwelling on this all day. I love being unemployed

Well I think yes, it was. An retrospective interview One posted on the subject a while ago implied as much. IBM openly stated that they wanted the Cell to be 'fuller' PowerPC cores. and Sony and Toshiba fought them down to the SPE model around one single Power core.
xbdestroya said:
I've talked myself in the past about how Sony must feel with the XeCPU cores being as similar as they are, but that being said it's obvious that Sony could have used such a design if in fact they had wanted; indeed it was IBM's initial proposition for the project.
Okay, haven't read the article yet so maybe I'm responding out of turn, but...what similarities? Cell seems a totally different architecture to me. The only similarities between the CPUs is a PPC base which isn't surprising as both come from IBM. Why totally reinvent a new CPU with the same components to do the same tasks and a new API? Apart from the PPC heritage there's very little similar about the processors.
Shifty Geezer said:
Okay, haven't read the article yet so maybe I'm responding out of turn, but...what similarities? Cell seems a totally different architecture to me. The only similarities between the CPUs is a PPC base which isn't surprising as both come from IBM. Why totally reinvent a new CPU with the same components to do the same tasks and a new API? Apart from the PPC heritage there's very little similar about the processors.

Well right, the PPC cores. ;)

That's no small component - fully half the chip IMO architecture-wise. But since that's all that the XeCPU is essentially, it very much could be taken by Sony as being them having funded XeCPU's core research. Which I know I would be pissed about if I was Sony and it turned out in fact to be an adaptation of the central core in my own processor.

Anyway yeah - don't respond out of turn then! :p
so that would be like 50% backstabbed?

2 cells= 100%
1 cell= 50%

nvidia = good thing for you
How much different the PPC core in PS3 and XCPU is compared to the previous Power PC cores used in Apples and such?
rabidrabbit said:
How much different the PPC core in PS3 and XCPU is compared to the previous Power PC cores used in Apples and such?

From those? I'd say pretty different. I mean the in-order processing alone makes it quite a shift architecturally.