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[softpedia] Cell CPU Better than Intel's Quad Core for Video Transcoding

post #1 of 9
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Besides Playstation 3 users, who know that the Cell BE CPU is powering their favorite gaming console, the number of users aware of the existence of this CPU is limited. Still, the computing performance of this Cell BE CPU is not to be taken lightly, especially as it can be optimized for a number of applications.

As reported in the media, a couple of journalists were lucky enough to assist to a Cell BE demonstration, held last week during the Computex trade show. They visited Corel's suite at the Grand Hyatt hotel, where they were able to see a third-party demonstration of Toshiba's SpursEngine 1000 (SE1000), an accelerator board designed for the Cell BE processor. Apparently, the demonstration included a trimmed down chip, which was capable of offering an impressive performance potential.

In Corel's demonstration of the SE1000, the Cell-optimized version of its DVD MovieFactory application was capable of transcoding 1080p H.264 video to a smaller resolution, such as 480p. Compared with the Cell CPU found on the PS3 gaming console, this unit actually has half the resources. The technical specs included a core clock of 1.5GHz, four active SPE units and only 128 MB of XDR DRAM memory.

Apparently, the SE1000 accelerator board was capable of achieving better results in the demonstration than an Intel Core 2 Quad CPU, running at 3GHz. However, because of the fact that the application was specialized for SE1000, the comparison is rather arguable. But it does prove that an accelerator, which consumes only 10 to 20 watts, can admirably handle a custom application like the DVD MovieFactory.

There's no word on pricing for Toshiba's board yet, but the company has mentioned that the product is targeted at consumer electronics applications. Still, after Sony announced, back in February, that they were working on a 45nm version of the Cell BE chip, we should expect to see impressive performances from a smaller chip.

Source
post #2 of 9
looks like cell might have a place in PCs after all...

wait an 8500GT is more effective...
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post #3 of 9
wow 10-20 watts and takes on a core2quad head to head? no matter "how well optimized" the cell processor compatible coding is... that's a hefty feat!

if they can churn those out at a fast/affordable rate. im sure they would be popular in ultra mobile pcs... or even a version that consumes say.. 95 watts?

something tells me M$ might want to make windows7 capable of working on cell processor systems... not just x86/x64


although... i will admit. my hard drive seems to be the biggest bottleneck of all.. a faster CPU is always wanted
    
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post #4 of 9
Before I left Intel, a number of the Engineers we're talking about cell type processors being implemented in the near future. I never heard whether they had any working prototypes at the time. This was a year ago approx.
post #5 of 9
This is why Toshiba is putting a cell into some of their HDTVs.
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post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by uberjon View Post
wow 10-20 watts and takes on a core2quad head to head? no matter "how well optimized" the cell processor compatible coding is... that's a hefty feat!

if they can churn those out at a fast/affordable rate. im sure they would be popular in ultra mobile pcs... or even a version that consumes say.. 95 watts?

something tells me M$ might want to make windows7 capable of working on cell processor systems... not just x86/x64


although... i will admit. my hard drive seems to be the biggest bottleneck of all.. a faster CPU is always wanted

The Cell is for parallel processing, kind of like a GPU, not regular CPU type processing, thus the failure of a proper benchmark. Show us what happens when a GPU is used and we will see just how effective it is.

Once CUDA is implemented more, this Cell board will be completely useless as it would be completely out classed, and probably pretty expensive.

They also did not say that it was "twice as fast" or "X % faster" so it seems that it isn't that large a difference in speeds (though power consumption is considerably less).
Edited by trueg50 - 6/9/08 at 5:19am
    
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post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by trueg50 View Post
The Cell is for parallel processing, kind of like a GPU, not regular CPU type processing, thus the failure of a proper benchmark. Show us what happens when a GPU is used and we will see just how effective it is.

Once CUDA is implemented more, this Cell board will be completely useless as it would be completely out classed, and probably pretty expensive.

They also did not say that it was "twice as fast" or "X % faster" so it seems that it isn't that large a difference in speeds (though power consumption is considerably less).
i stand corrected on the "cpu" comparison.

however. if these chips are capable of cross communicating... like SLI/CF how would 10 of these stand up to a 200W dx10 card? if they are capable of scaling this thing in the form of multi chip. or one faster chip with more wattage.. this may be a challenge for the GPU market..

even though i am personally rooting for cuda...
    
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post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by trueg50 View Post
The Cell is for parallel processing, kind of like a GPU, not regular CPU type processing, thus the failure of a proper benchmark. Show us what happens when a GPU is used and we will see just how effective it is.

Once CUDA is implemented more, this Cell board will be completely useless as it would be completely out classed, and probably pretty expensive.

They also did not say that it was "twice as fast" or "X % faster" so it seems that it isn't that large a difference in speeds (though power consumption is considerably less).
Exactly, power consumption.

GPU's cant touch the Cell in power consumption .
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post #9 of 9
wow.. too bad cell isn't x86/x64 compatible
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