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Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Toshiba's Cell Processor Coming to PC, Consumer Electronics


Toshiba today announced the start of sample shipping of the SpursEngine SE1000 (SpursEngine), the high-performance stream processor integrating four Synergistic Processing Element (SPE) cores derived from the "Cell Broadband Engine" (Cell/B.E.).

Sample shipping started from today, and Toshiba expects sales of 6 million units within the first three years of the SpursEngine's release.

SpursEngine is a co-processor that integrates a hardware codec for Full HD encoding and decoding of MPEG-2 and H.264 streams with four SPEs derived from Cell/B.E. These advanced processing elements offer high performance media streaming capabilities, with a clock frequency of 1.5GHz, while achieving low power consumption range of 10W to 20W.

"We are very pleased to have started sample shipping of SpursEngine" said Yoshio Masubuchi, Director of Toshiba?s System LSI Division, Advanced SoC Development Center. "The design of this powerful co-processor is dedicated to bringing the advanced capabilities of the Cell/B.E. to consumer electronics, particularly video processing in digital consumer products. We are sure that SpursEngine will accelerate the market for full-HD applications."

Toshiba siad that it would support developers working on SpursEngine applications with a reference kit that includes a reference board and essential middleware APIs. The reference board has a PCI-Express edge connector that can connect to an x1 layer slot in a PC. Toshiba will also provide an integrated development environment (SPE compiler, SPE debugger, and performance monitor) and sample applications that demonstrate how to use the provided middleware.



Toshiba siad it would further boost the performance and cut the power consumption of the SpursEngine.

Toshiba is working with partner companies in order to develop wide scope video solutions that utilize SpursEngine. These include Corel Corporation, CyberLink Corporation and Leadtek Research Inc. These companies produce popular video and image processing software and hardware such as graphic board, and will together supply to set manufacturers.



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