The Cell creators claim the chip provides as much as 10 times better performance in handling entertainment and rich-media applications than current PC processors from companies like Intel Corp. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc.
The chip is also capable of supporting multiple operating systems simultaneously. Those systems could include Linux, real-time operating systems for computer entertainment and consumer electronics applications, as well as guest operating systems for specific applications, the companies said.
Cell's chances of success in the market are good because it's based on an existing chip architecture, the IBM Power processor, and because it has the backing of two major consumer electronics manufacturers.
The chip will likely debut in the Playstation 3 and tops clock speeds of 4 GHz. However, 4 GHz to x86 is not 4GHz to the Cell, which has a completely different architecture that does away with cache altogether. Its potential as a "PC Killer" is currently being hotly debated.