Feeds

Cell-based computer breaks out of IBM

Cache heavy QS20 blinking in sunlight

High performance access to file storage

IBM has finally, finally, started shipping computers based on the Cell architectured it co-developed with Sony and Toshiba.

In fact, the company claims, a number of high profile clients such as the University of Manchester and the Fraunhofer Institute are already running the much ballyhooed devices.

Big Blue’s first Cell Broadband Engine-based machine is the QS20, which is part of the firm’s BladeCenter family. According to IBM’s data sheets, the QS20 blade features two 3.2GHz BE processors, each of which contains a Power Processing Element (PPE) and eight Synergistic Processing Elements (SPEs).

Each PPE is itself a PowerPC chip, with two-way hardware multithreading, 32Kb of level 1 instruction cache and 32Kb of level 1 data cache. Each SPE consists of a RISC chip with 128-bit SIMD capability and 256KB of local memory.

The blade also carries a 40GB disk, 512KB of level 2 cache per processor, and dual gigabit Ethernet support.

Given the architecture’s focus on high performance and graphics intensive applications, the vendor expects the technology will find its way into the medical industry, aerospace and defense, and oil and gas.

It'll be interesting to see how quickly it moves beyond those markets. IBM neglected to say how much it will be charging for the QS20. Somehow we think that, for now, it'll be in the "if you have to ask, you can't afford it" zone.

Update

IBM has since been in touch to tell us that the starting price for a single QS20 will be a mere $18,995. So, still in the "if you have to ask..." category we think. Thanks to those readers who also sent us links to pricing on IBM's website.®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
European Court of Justice rips up Data Retention Directive
Rules 'interfering' measure to be 'invalid'
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Cisco reps flog Whiptail's Invicta arrays against EMC and Pure
Storage reseller report reveals who's selling what
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Bored with trading oil and gold? Why not flog some CLOUD servers?
Chicago Mercantile Exchange plans cloud spot exchange
Just what could be inside Dropbox's new 'Home For Life'?
Biz apps, messaging, photos, email, more storage – sorry, did you think there would be cake?
IT bods: How long does it take YOU to train up on new tech?
I'll leave my arrays to do the hard work, if you don't mind
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.