ISSCC 2008: IBM announces plans for 45nm CELL BE

ISSCC 2008: IBM announces plans for 45nm CELL BE - Image 1We all knew that Big Blue would come through some day. As Intel preps it’s new Penryn 45nm processors for the personal computer market, IBM also takes a stroll down the same reduced die package lane. And at the recent ISSCC, short of International Solid-State Circuits Conference, IBM made their plans known to roll out a 45nm version of the CELL Broadband Engine whose 90nm, 65nm cousins currently power the various Sony PlayStation 3 SKUs.

ISSCC 2008: IBM announces plans for 45nm CELL BE - Image 1 

International Business Machines Corporation, or IBM, has unveiled their plans to create a smaller version of the CELL Broadband Engine at 2008’s International Solid State Circuits Conference (ISSCC). Yes, IBM and not Sony. The company’s new target is now aimed at the 45nm profile, reducing the CELL BE’s die size by 34% from its more recent 65nm cousin, its power consumption by 40% compared to the same, and making the eight SPE network processor a lot cheaper.

This would be good news to many other appliances and fields aiming to use the CELL BE inside their processor-intensive systems, as the products of the new process would provide lower power requirements and therefore lesser need for heat dispersal.

Unfortunately, the 45nm CELL BE won’t be carrying any additional advantages from the 65nm version (which essentially is as powerful as the 90nm version), as it will be matching the first CELL BE’s processing power and speed.

“To guarantee the proper operation of existing gaming software, the exact cycle-by-cycle machine behavior, including operating frequency, must be preserved,” said IBM in a document provided at the conference.

Thus it would seem that IBM’s skimping on another advantage to die shrinkage – tapping potential maximum processing output – by catering to a profitable, however small, enterprise with Sony. This may prove disconcerting to patrons of the PCIE versions of CELL BE used on their top-of-the-line Banzai Runner or workstation systems. More updates as soon as we get them.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *