IBM officially announces PowerXCell 8i (DP-enhanced 65nm Cell)

Discussion in 'CellPerformance@B3D' started by one, May 13, 2008.

  1. one

    one Unruly Member
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    http://www.eetimes.com/news/latest/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=207602892

    The older PDF about Roadrunner
    http://www.lanl.gov/orgs/hpc/roadru...unner System Overview Oct 17, 2007 (LAUR).pdf
     
  2. V3

    V3
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    Is that a typo ?
     
  3. Jawed

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    Ooh, that's interesting, DDR2. Anyone know the bandwidth?

    Jawed
     
  4. pjbliverpool

    pjbliverpool B3D Scallywag
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    Presumably. Its also pretty close to the single precision performance which is interesting.

    Its approximatly 4x higher than the fastest quad core.
     
  5. one

    one Unruly Member
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    Haha, didn't notice it... "Five times" is probably right.

    According to the previous discussion thread about this enhanced Cell B.E., it has 102Gflops (DP) while the original Cell is 25.6Gflops for DP.
    http://forum.beyond3d.com/showthread.php?t=40661

    Also there's a new Roadrunner article.
    http://www.lanl.gov/news/index.php/fuseaction/1663.article/d/200805/id/13277
     
  6. Carl B

    Carl B Friends call me xbd
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    My thoughts on the new QS22 (and I've been mulling this over all day) can be summed up with this: about time!

    The next several years mark some of the most important in recent memory as far as the direction of modern computing goes, and for having at its disposal one of the few architectures able to get an early-mover advantage on the new trends of heterogeneous/massively parallel computing, the seeming inertia out of IBM wrt Cell has been puzzling to say the least. Now with the Roadrunner go-ahead from DoE and the conclusion of code-base trials with a marquee client, it seems IBM is ready to get a little more serious with the PowerXCell 8i.

    IMO the countdown at present until the dawning of the next era is no less than the countdown to Larrabee; in the interim IBM has the Cell with which to position itself and gain acceptance/credibility before that chips arrival, and if it can do so to the extent that a competitive Cell 2 is able to hold and/or extend client wins into the future, it will have to be deemed a success. Competing with PowerXCell 8i in this regard for the immediate term will be the GPGPU offerings from NVidia and AMD, and truthfully I think they'll walk away with the lions share of it. But that's ok, because IBM's wares are aimed essentially at the enterprise market and big spenders alone, and so long as QS22 performance is competitive with IBM's platinum reputation and support part of the package, they should do well enough. I was heartened to see for example that the QS22 is appropriately considered in IBM's new enterprise data center initiative.

    IBM has a golden opportunity in that the R&D expense and volume production ramping of a next-generation Cell are virtually assured through the relationship with Sony and Toshiba; any headway they make with the present architecture(s) today is just that much better a position to start from when the next evolution of the chip arrives tomorrow.
     
    #6 Carl B, May 14, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: May 14, 2008
  7. patsu

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    Software library and volume/installed base are key. Go go STI !

    I am waiting for Toshiba's makeup application using SPUREngine. Let's hope Sony license it for PS3 too.
     
  8. one

    one Unruly Member
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    QS22 PR
    http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/24180.wss
    It says "the IBM PowerXCell™ 8i, offers five-times the speed of the original Cell/B.E. processor".

    In the Roadrunner pdf the 32-SPE Cell is shown as a successor of eDP Cell, so we may see PowerXCell™ 32i in the near future when 45nm is ready.
     
  9. Carl B

    Carl B Friends call me xbd
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    They're definitely rounding up with the 'five times' though, at least in absolute performance terms. The QS22 is rated at 217 DP GFLOPS, which would seem closer to four times than five. Maybe other considerations are going into the calculus.
     
  10. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    Indeed. I presume they mean GDDR2, as in the consoles, which are bandwidth comparable with the Rambus in PS3.
     
  11. AlBran

    AlBran Ferro-Fibrous
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    GDDR2 in consoles :?:
     
  12. Carl B

    Carl B Friends call me xbd
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    Oh no, it's DDR2 alright. The bandwidth is achieved through a massive increase in pin-out.

    The thread One linked to earlier on chip has a lot of good information from its technical debut: http://forum.beyond3d.com/showthread.php?t=40661

    Jawed even posted in that thread so I don't understand how he was surprised all over again. :) (and you did too Shifty!)
     
  13. Jawed

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    I have a dynamic, not a static memory - so forgot as a refresh time of 1 year is just too long :smile:

    Jawed
     
  14. one

    one Unruly Member
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    Fixstars announced GigaAccel 180, a PCI-e board sporting a PowerXCell™ 8i. So its perf is at 90GFlops (DP) @ 2.8GHz.

    EDIT: 180GFlops -> 90GFlops (http://www.fixstars.com/en/pdf/GigaAccel180_EN.pdf)

    http://www.fixstars.com/en/products/gigaaccel180/
    http://www.fixstars.com/en/products/gigaaccel180/specs.html
     
    #14 one, Jun 6, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 7, 2008
  15. Carl B

    Carl B Friends call me xbd
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    Man Fixstars is going the distance with Cell it seems; first the application porting for Mizuho, now their own product launch. Good find One.
     
  16. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    How is this device going to be used in PC applications? I'm guessing it'll need custom code, which marginalises it considerably. For something like Maya acceleration the board would be great, but who's going to incorporate acceleration? I'm failing to appreciate the market.
     
  17. one

    one Unruly Member
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    Well the page has a hint :wink: They demoed CodecSys HDCP Cell BE H.264 Encoder at NAB 2008. This application is for the professional video/broadcast industry.
    http://www.fixstars.com/en/company/event/nab2008.html
    http://www.investorvoices.com/bcst/2008-0417-video
     
  18. Carl B

    Carl B Friends call me xbd
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    It's not. :)

    Rather, it's attemping to bring HPC performance/workloads onto a workstation friendly form factor. I'm sure once they list the price in $'s also that it will be none too cheap. But it presents a good option for institutions that want to work with the PowerXCell 8i and would rather not spend tens of thousands on a BladeCenter-based arrangement.
     
  19. ShaidarHaran

    ShaidarHaran hardware monkey
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    It's 180GFLOPs in SP mode, half that in DP. Not bad, but an 8-core x86 system should outperform in both modes.
     
  20. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    Okay, we're still a ways off from Cell accelerated applications then.

    Dunno. In terms of attained, sustained performance, especially considering power consumption, Cell may still win out in a lot of cases.
     
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