Toshiba to ship laptops with Cell-based GPUs this year
And putting PS3 processor into TVs in 2009
Toshiba has pledged to begin selling notebooks equipped with its oddly named SpursEngine graphics chip this year. SpursEngine is based on the technology that powers the PlayStation 3's Cell processor.
Outlining its post HD DVD growth strategy this week, Toshiba management said it will put its SpursEngine SE1000 chip into multimedia-oriented notebooks - probably the company's flagship Qosmio G40 - during 2008.
Toshiba's Qosmio G40: coming soon with SpursEngine
The SE1000 packs in four of Cell's Synergistic Processing Element (SPE) cores. Cell has up to eight SPEs to handle vector data, along with a PowerPC-based general purpose computing core for everything else.
Each SPE is a SIMD Risc processor specialising in single- and double-precision floating point maths. The SE1000 also has a memory controller on board that links the SPEs to 128MB of Rambus XDR memory over a bus capable of pushing data at 12.8GB/s.
The chip is capable of MPEG 2 and H.264 encoding and decoding at 1080p full HD resolution, and those are the applications it's pitching the product at rather than 3D graphics.
In April, Toshiba said it's partnering with the likes of CyberLink, Leadtek and Corel - all makes of widely used PC-oriented video playback apps - to add support for the SE1000 to their software.
That code will presumably go into the upcoming SpursEngine-equipped Qosmio, to allow it to deliver what Toshiba calls "Super-resolution" imagery. This is essentially standard-definition content upscaled to 1080p and beyond, but Toshiba believes the SE1000 will allow it to make a far better job of this existing task than its rivals can using standard interpolation algorithms.
Cell-based TV: 14-screen picture-in-picture, anyone?
It said Super-resolution will be offered across its PC, TV and DVD player lines, and be pitched at the vast array of content available online that's still SD.
This is in addition to Toshiba's upcoming TVs fitted with Cell processors - a line it demo'd at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas back in January. Cell, it said, will allow its tellies to do fancy things like 14-in-1 picture-in-picture images.
The catch: we'll have to wait until the autumn of 2009 for these.
We don't need no chip
What good are multicores if our OSes can not use them efficiently?
Here even 1+1 can not make 2. It is about 1.3 in terms of performance.
Something is going in the wrong lane.
Are you sure Daniel was joking? Surely upscaling from one pixel to a whole movie is the basis of Jean-Claude van Damme's cinematic acting career? Taking that to it's logical conclusion you could probably upscale a sub-pixel to encompass the multi-layered and complex thespian talents displayed in Ms Hilton's screen appearances.
You know what? I think I'd rather just sit here watching the sub-pixel for an hour and a half. Or maybe something less painful still like stapling my feet to the floor with a nail gun.
One small step...
Who here does not lament the demise of the PowerPC architecture from the desktop?
Why oh why did IBM abandon ppc64?
It would seem (at least for the moment) we're stuck with IA-32/AMD64/EM64T for the forseable future, at least on desktops.
If there's anyway to end this domination now let's do it. I still live in somewhat despondent hope that one day there will be multicore ppc64's (or even cell derivatives) cheaply available for desktops. BSD/Linux whatever.
And no, the ps3 at the moment just ain't good enough.
Are they walking away from 3D? I hope Toshiba comes back soon.
All the notbooks I buy have to support 3D & OpenGL2.0. To many programs use it and if you have any graphics to do at all the the lack of it will stop you cold. So no 3D with OpenGL = No support from where I'm standing.
It's a joke, son.