Toshiba brings Cell architecture to laptops

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Despite initial hopes for a wide-scale adoption of the Cell processor, so far Toshiba, IBM and Sony’s architecture has only been extensively used for powering the heart of the PlayStation 3. Toshiba is hoping to change this, however, and has revealed that it’ll begin using a variant of the Cell chip called Quad Core HD in its new range of Qosmio laptops.

While the Qosmio laptops will still use an Intel Core 2 Duo to run the OS, the new Quad Core HD processor will work alongside it to handle stuff like real-time face recognition, DVD upscaling, high-def video encoding / decoding, and a novel camera-based gestural controlling feature which offers “unique product navigation using simple hand movements.”

The chip runs at 1.5GHz, and though its video processing capabilities look nice on paper, it will significantly add to a device’s total cost, footprint, and power draw to the point of making you wonder if it is really worth it. Notebooks carrying the Quad Core HD chip will cost upwards $2,700, would still need a second GPU to handle graphics, and will automatically lose all its Cell-powered video processing goodness when running on battery power, as the Quad Core HD is simply too power-hungry.

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