Feeds

Toshiba readies Cell-based graphics engine

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

Security for virtualized datacentres

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.

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Let it go, Steve: Ballmer bans iPads from his LA Clippers b-ball team
Can you imagine the scene? 'Hey guys, it's your new owner – WTF is that on your desk?'
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
iPAD-FONDLING fanboi sparks SECURITY ALERT at Sydney airport
Breaches screening rules cos Apple SCREEN ROOLZ, ok?
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
The British Museum plonks digital bricks on world of Minecraft
Institution confirms it's cool with joining the blocky universe
Turn OFF your phone or WE'LL ALL DI... live? Europe OKs mobes, tabs non-stop on flights
Airlines given green light to allow gate-to-gate jibber-jabber
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.