Toshiba unveils "SpursEngine" stream processor derived from Cell/B.E.

Discussion in 'CellPerformance@B3D' started by one, Sep 20, 2007.

  1. -tkf-

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    From: http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/cpu/display/20071003232118.html

    Uhh?
     
  2. patsu

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    Hmm.... they should compare laptop GPUs with SpursEngine. What's the state of the art ?

    The former definitely have the software and OS integration advantages, the latter requires custom application like FaceMation to shine.
     
  3. Titanio

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  4. nico1982

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  5. one

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    http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/...-advanced-technologies-ces-2008_424814_6.html

    Apparently the Cell TV launches in Fall 2008 - sometime in 2009 (in the latest schedule that is).
     
  6. Crossbar

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  7. Frank

    Frank Certified not a majority
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    A Cell would do great in a laptop or micro-computer, as long as you don't want to run Windows on it. Linux is no problem. But that would make the volume much smaller than most hardware vendors like.
     
  8. Vitaly Vidmirov

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    A Cell would do great in a laptop or micro-computer
    I don't think so. CELL is hot and draws 80+ watts.
     
  9. liolio

    liolio Aquoiboniste
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    I kind of agree but it would have take really few changes to make it effective ;)

    If STI had spend slightly more ressources on the ppe design and offer a down clocked version (say 2Ghz) fewer SPU, It could be perfectly fine and may apple would have chose tit ;)

    Anyway as we say in France "using IF we could put Paris in a bottle" ;)
     
    #49 liolio, Jan 12, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 12, 2008
  10. ADEX

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    At 90nm it drew about 100W, 65nm cut a huge chunk off that, I estimate it's around 60W now, still a bit too high for a laptop. 45nm will cut power 45% so that'd put it into the laptop range.
     
  11. Shifty Geezer

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    If they're adding this to a laptop, I presume the software is Windows based. How is code developed and executed on SpursEngine through Windows then and how does it integrate with the Windows applications? Does it share memory or is code left on local XDR for the Cell, basically running it as a system in a system that just reports results back through a driver interface?
     
  12. randycat99

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    turn around...

    Also, bear in mind those figures are with zero power management controls. I imagine a laptop solution would include a proper power management system for the chip, itself, which would bring down typical power consumption behavior drastically (as it does for nearly all processing intensive components found in a modern laptop).

    Granted, power consumption could still be very high under full load, but that is still tolerable on a laptop as long as it is short term. It's the same as it would be for any classic high-power laptop cpu/gpu. For short tasks, the power management will enable it to "rise" to the occasion, with minimal impact to battery life or heat generation. For sustained intensive tasks, there is simply no escaping the reality that processing horsepower has an electrical/thermal cost, and the user will be fully aware of this when the fans come on and the battery meter goes to 1/2 hr remaining unless they plug it in to a dedicated AC source.
     
  13. one

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    http://www.toshiba.co.jp/about/press/2008_04/pr0801.htm
    According to the Japanese press release, the sample price is 10,000 yen ($98.03).
    http://www.toshiba.co.jp/about/press/2008_04/pr_j0801.htm
     
  14. Shifty Geezer

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    6 million across 3 years isn't what I'd call a big market. The mention of Corel is encouraging though. If they produce a SPE accelerated graphics application, a port to PS3 should be easy, and the appearance of fast, high quality software could help the professional Cell 'workstation' market take off.
     
  15. Carl B

    Carl B Friends call me xbd
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    Well, nice to see things happening though. Honestly they should probably have launched a SpursEngine-type product back on 90nm bulk in order to build up the ecosystem sooner rather than later, and on the back of PS3's initial launch hype. Certainly back then it would have been competing with essentially the same 90nm embedded alternatives its simply competing with now on the smaller node. Beyond the 2 million/year in expected sales of the add-in board, I imagine that Toshiba will be using the chip themselves in their upcoming Cell-based HD TVs and other A/V gear, so likely its production run will be a good bit higher.
     
  16. Jugix

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    Hi there people! You really have nice forum here. :)

    SpursEngine has hardware h264 encoder for handling 1080p video, but does this feature mean videostream is encoded real-time to h264 form or is it only for accelerating desktop video-encoding process beyond what normal desktop CPU is able to do?

    I have been benchmarking my new budget CPU by encoding 720p video to h264 format. CPU is Intel E2180 OC'd to 3204MHz and while it is a fast processor for games etc. it still is very very sluggish at encoding "merely" 720p video. I used this transcode script which transcodes video to be compatible with PS3 and encoding part is done with x264. I get around 4-8fps encoding speeds for 720p video therefore I was wondering if SpursEngine really is fast enough to encode FullHD video real-time to h264 format!

    Like Mr. Garrison once said:"There are no stupid questions! There's only stupid people!" :)
     
  17. Shifty Geezer

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    On a related note, is there any encoding software for SPE's on Linux? I would have thought this'd be a prime candidate for an oft-used application that could do with a lot of speeding up. Has anyone tried this, and if so, how did performance pan out? How would it compare to the hardware h264 encoder/decoder in SpursEngine? The principal reason for asking is why include hardware h264 when Cell was shown to be very quick at it?! This hardware choice suggests custom hardware is far faster, and the SPE's are 'relegated' to image processing functions, rather than workhorse activities, limiting Cell's CE applications.
     
  18. patsu

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    NetFront Living Connect is probably the most advanced, but I don't know if it's on the market already:
    http://www.access-company.com/products/internet_appliances/livingconnect/index.html (Note the server side component)
    http://forum.beyond3d.com/showthread.php?t=41456
    http://techon.nikkeibp.co.jp/english/NEWS_EN/20070521/132856/ (ACCESS player on Linux news)


    This is the 3rd place winner (region 2) for IBM's Cell programming competition:
    http://sourceforge.net/projects/cell-h264/

    I think someone is trying to port x264 to PS3. You should be able to find the post on B3D.
     
    #58 patsu, Apr 13, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 13, 2008
  19. Carl B

    Carl B Friends call me xbd
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    I don't think it's a matter of faster so much as cheaper on the hardware codec front; certainly the SPEs would be up to the task, and the comparison chart between the Cell and SpursEngine shows the breakdown. The SPEs are still doing all of the heavy-lifting here in terms of processing, just as on an alternate architecture/embedded solution there would need to be a processing consideration above and beyond the codec hardware itself.

    I think at the end of the day Spurs will prove to be a very robust solution in terms of its results compared to contemporaries, but its market success of course will depend on a number of factors.
     
  20. patsu

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    Update on Toshiba's Cell-enhanced laptop

    Laptop's coming this year. Cell HDTV fall next year.

    http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2008/05/09/toshiba_cell_strategy/

     
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