Implications why Cell doesn't cut it for Apple

fuzz

Registered
Here's an interesting article on Anandtech about the Cell processor performance in the Xbox and PS3. It doesn't mention anything about Apple or the next generation Apple processors. But i think it has a lot of implications why Steve Jobs left IBM's Cell design.

http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2453
 

CreativeEye

Registered
that is an interesting article.

also of interest might be the two part 'MacCast specials' podcasts - available on itms - all about the switch to intel and related stories... some of the views are a bit 'out there' - but generally it gives a good overview to the situation past, present and future
 

Captain Code

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
It's pretty easy to see why Apple wouldn't use the Cell architecture. It's just far to simple to be of any use in a desktop environment. It's interesting to note that the Cell's PPE general purpose core is exactly the same as the 3 cores in the XBox 360.
 

Captain Code

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
It was there. It was posted on Slashdot before so maybe they took it down because it was getting hit too much..
 

CreativeEye

Registered
yep - it was defintitely there! my safari history still has it listed - the title of the page was -

'Microsoft's Xbox 360 & Sony's Playstation 3 - Examples of Poor CPU Performance'

though clicking on it still takes me to the search page instead of a cached page.
 

symphonix

Scratch & Sniff Committee
I think the critical reason why Apple would not choose the Cell processor was simply that there is not going to be much commercial pressure on the Cell to develop.

Once the PS3 is released, its architecture will remain pretty much the same for its entire product life. The cell is expected to be used by Sony in other consumer products, but almost all of these are products where you generally wouldn't really care what sort of processor it had - things like camcorders and DVD players, for instance.

So, without it being used in an application where there is an ongoing pressure for better and faster processors, its likely that the Cell processor will not be very actively developed.

For Intel, its a very different matter. Their entire business relies on their chips being at the cutting edge of performance. While the Cell *could* sit at its current level for three years without causing Sony any headaches, the Intel architecture has to advance. For this reason alone, I think Apple made the right choice.
 

Reality

Registered
You know whats interesting? Sony wants to put a OS on the PS3. They hope to have a linux installed on their HD which is sold separately. How interesting it might have been if Apple accepted the offer and actually made a version of their OS to work on that console.
 

kainjow

Registered
One thing is true...when Apple wants to research new "things", they know how to do it effectively. So I trust Apple on choosing Intel's x86 over Cell and whatever IBM might be doing with the PowerPC. Obviously Intel is where it's at for processors, looks like they're be the king for some time still.
 
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