IBM to use Cell CPU in Blade servers

By Justin Mann on February 3, 2006, 5:28 PM
Blade has been a pretty hot topic for server administrators the past year or so, and IBM really wants to continue pushing them. They are also looking to incorporate their 'Cell' processor into blade servers as well. The Cell is the CPU behind the up and coming PlayStation 3 console, and is considered by many to be a revolutionary chip in terms of design. It was designed around consoles though, not servers, and IBM isn't giving many details on the purpose or future of a cell blade. Next week, IBM plans to demonstrate the Cell in their new BladeCenter in New York, and more details on the advantages of using that CPU in a blade environment will probably be revealed then. IBM is king of the blade market, which is becoming increasingly popular, so it may end up being a follow the leader style situation in the future. Could we see Blades using Cells in many corporate environments in the future?

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Need_a_Dell said:
The Cell processor truly looks amazing with specs like these: Cell Processor -- PowerPC-base Core @3.2GHz1 VMX vector unit per core512KB L2 cache7 x SPE @3.2GHz7 x 128b 128 SIMD GPRs7 x 256KB SRAM for SPE* 1 of 8 SPEs reserved for redundancyTotal floating point performance: 218 GFLOPSThese specs are from the upcoming PS3, but they could definitly be changed and tweaked in the coming months. (Which I expect to happen.) Hopefully they'll find a way to utilize this baby to use in household computers as well!
MonkeyMan said:
The Blade server is awesome. And making the move to incorporate the cell processors into the Blade cells is a supreme added plus for IBM. Great job IBM, and I can't wait to see this in action!!!!!!!
gamingmage said:
Wow I wonder if this will work for IBM. I mean it was centered around consoles which are different in terms of use from servers. We'll just have to wait and see how this plays out.
Kaleid said:
I'm completely confused whether the Cell CPU's actually are that fast. There have been reports that they are difficult to program which makes it hard to reach the high potential rawpower. I suppose it might be very great but there's little doubt in my mind that a lot of it is pure hype.
Nodsu said:
No point in getting excited about something that's there only on advertisment materials. The FLOPS quoted for the Cell are on paper, calculated by adding up the clock frequency and the processing units. For some reason IBM is not quoting any real benchmark results when they talk about their new brainchild..
vigilante said:
I've always liked the blade server idea. But it's pretty sad that we have to take processors from gaming consoles to use in our servers. lolIt really is the gamers that push the industry I guess. And they said gaming was a pointless past time!
Canadian said:
This looks like it could be really powerfull, it will be interesting to see how the processor will evolve.
cyrax said:
Wow, thats pretty powerful.I think it is safe to say ibm still has some pretty cutting edge stuff.
asphix said:
We'll see cell in a LOT of consumer and corporate grade electronics in the future, as was the plan when designing the chip. I'm more interested in what unconventional devices the processor finds its way into.
buttus said:
When IBM announced their partnership to develop the PS3 corem everyone in the IT Industry knew that IBM also had other plans for this CPU. I for one believed that they would use the processor in their X Series of eServers...however I would say that the addition of the Cell to the Blade Centers is a most welcome development.IBM Blade Servers are vastly superior to both HP and Dell. Their market share is considerable but I would imagine that the Cell would only extend their lead in this market and will even take some away from HP (possibly Dell as well...but their portion of this market is almost miniscule anyways).Once the Cell is actually deployed in the IBM Blades....then keep a look out for a Lenovo announcement for the Cell to be used in their Blade PC's. It's only a matter of time and once the processors begin rolling out in quantites for both the PS3 and the Blade Servers, then the cost should diminish to a point that Blade PC's would become affordable.
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