Feeds

Toshiba readies Cell-based graphics engine

Watch out, Nvidia, here comes... er... SpursEngine

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Toshiba will next week formally announce a processor based on the Cell chip that sits inside each Sony PlayStation 3 games console. The new CPU will be pitched not only at consumer electronics kit but set head-to-head with today's PC and Mac graphics chips.

To be fair to Nvidia, AMD and co., Toshiba's October announcement only covers a prototype of the bizarrely named SpursEngine processor - no, it's not going to be fabbed in Tottenham - as the company has yet to finalise the products specifications.

What it'll be showing off on 2 October at Japan's CEATEC exhibition is a version of SpursEngine that contains four of the Synergistic Processing Element (SPE) cores that, along with a PowerPC-based general-purpose processing core, make up the PS3's CPU.

Toshiba's SpursEngine GPU
Toshiba's SpursEngine: own goal or champion GPU?

Alongside those four SPEs sit dedicated H.264 and MPEG 3 decode and encode circuitry, along with 256KB of on-chip data storage. The prototype processor will be clocked at 1.5GHz, Toshiba said, and consume 10-20W - depending on load, presumably.

Like the PS3, the SpursEngine is designed to connect to Rambus' high-speed XDR memory, and can sit on a x1, x2 or x4 PCI Express 1.1 graphics card.

The chip will be demo'd in a notebook computer - Toshiba's big on laptops, don't forget - which it said will be grabbing attendees faces, rendering them as computer animations and applying hair styles and make-up in real-time.

Not quite, Metal Gear Solid, Gears of War or Crysis, we'll admit, but you can see that Toshiba has these kinds of applications in mind too. Whether the SpursEngine operates with Microsoft's PC gaming foundation software, DirectX 10, remains to be seen.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
Tim Cook: The classic iPod HAD to DIE, and this is WHY
Apple, er, couldn’t get the parts for HDD models
Apple spent just ONE DOLLAR beefing up the latest iPad Air 2
New iPads look a lot like the old one. There's a reason for that
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Caterham Seven 160 review: The Raspberry Pi of motoring
Back to driving's basics with a joyously legal high
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.