IBM has potential Cell customers in defense contracting

By Justin Mann on February 8, 2006, 1:12 PM
We heard last week about IBM designing blade centers that would make use of Cell servers, a novel idea and one that is quite fascinating, though many wondered why, and wondered whether or not people would actually go for a console CPU in a server. Apparently, yes. A company called Raytheon, a defense contractor, has been researching into the Cell, and has determined there is the potential for massive performance increases in sensor networks. What gripes they had seem to have the potential to be resolved by Cell's flexibility, with IBM open to slight redesigns to custom-fit the CPU for different scenarios.

For example, defense contractor Raytheon is exploring whether it can use Cell to dramatically improve the performance of sensor networks. Raytheon's chief technology officer, Peter Pao, called Cell "a very exciting technology" with "a lot of promise," but said Raytheon is still evaluating how to rewrite software and redesign systems to work with Cell.
Particularly, there were problems noted with heat production. IBM apparently will be able to redesign the chip to fit into a more embedded environment, which would make it even more attractive to other companies.

User Comments: 6

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Cartz said:
Yet another example of gamers driving computer technology forward. Who wants to take bets that when we hit photorealistic, completely immersive video game environments that satisfy our every demand, that technology development slows down almost overnight?I for one, would be willing to put a fair chunk of coin saying it will, although, I'll probably be dead before that day comes :p
nathanskywalker said:
Wow, console guts in a server? I can see that that could help them, though it might be more expensive then conventional technology. I'm just trying to imagine...ahh here we go, this is kind of cool [url]
740.htm[/url]and i just thought i would mention [url]
server[/url]Anyway. I keep imagining a playstation of Xbox sitting inside a server, huh.
PanicX said:
Heh, you got me picturing a PS3 server farm. .. Whats that? A server failure? Here, let me get $400 and replace it..
Need_a_Dell said:
The Cell processor is an astounding chip with a multitude of possibilities. The fact that it will be used in servers and is being looked at by other companies is great news for IBM. Hopefully all of this good publicity and high sales will drive down the price of the PS3 when it launches. (Because of increased revenue.)
Race said:
One thing I think is fairly certain.... defense contractors such as Raytheon are interested in Cell technology for reasons other than just performance. One is security....each Cell is given a global identifier, so the architecture enables a 'strict, lock-down machine to be built, with access to memory tightly controlled'.Another cool thing about the Cell technology is that it can be used in such a broad range of computing systems, from high-end servers and workstations, to game consoles, PDA's, digital tv's, and other consumer electronics.[quote]"promises to be the most important microprocessor of the decade, with potentially enormous repercussions for how the industry computes, and how the rest of us use digital media. It will power the PlayStation 3 and technical and commercial computing".[/quote] I don't see how something like this would not get the support from programmers. I'm sure we'll be hearing a lot more about this after the completion of the Cell demo that IBM is showing today (Feb. 8th) in New York.These images of a Cell based Blade Server prototype are pretty interesting:(just click 'cancel' for Japanese characters...they're not needed)[url]
gview_e&FD=1171506576[/url][Edited by Race on 2006-02-08 18:00:40]
buttus said:
Muuuhhhhaaaaahhhhaaaaaa *rubs hands togethor gleefully*.I commented earlier when IBM annouced the Cell in their upcomming server linup that these would be ideal for Govenrment and Military use. Basically, money has to be no object and in the case of these two verticals this definately rings true.PanicX. A server farm of PS3? Didn't someone already do that with X-Box? I know it was done with the Apple G5 tower (now which University did that again?). However, I do distinctly remember reading here on Techspot some time ago that a group had in fact made a server farm or cluster from a number of X-Boxes.Maybe someone can clear that up and jog my memory?
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