Cell-based PC video cards coming soon

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We’ve already seen the SpursEngine co-processor being touted in a couple of Toshiba Qosmio laptops, but the chip is now set to make its debut in the discrete graphics cards market. Leadtek and Thomson both plan to introduce add-in video cards based on SpursEngine in the coming weeks, with prices ranging from around $290 to $470.

SpursEngine is based on the same Cell processor architecture as the chip used in Sony’s PlayStation 3 console and features four processing cores. The card makers didn't particularly emphasize on the SpursEngine as a graphics processor, but rather as a powerful engine capable of encoding or decoding high-definition video thanks to hardware MPEG2 and H.264 codecs, which suggest their cards will be targeted at the media PC niche market rather than being competitors to AMD and Nvidia products.

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