IBM cancels Cell Processor development

PSUni writes:

"It has been confirmed that IBM will be pulling out of Cell development, with their current PowerXCell 8i to be the company's last entrance in the technology.

The Cell Processor was originally the brain child of 'The Father of PlayStation' Ken Kutaragi. It was later co-developed by Sony, IBM and Toshiba; making it's way into the PlayStation 3, TV's and super computers.

Featuring a central general-purpose processor, the Cell includes a number of co-processing units with internal memory, known as SPUs. Greatly increasing performance, the Cell's SPUs have been notoriously difficult to develop for, with a number of developers, such as Naughty Dog, making significant breakthroughs of late.

IBM's most recent development in the Cell Processor's design is the PoweXCell 8i, which is featured in the second most powerful supercomputer in the world; Roadrunner.

However, this is where Cell will end for IBM."

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4076d ago Replies(7)
PotNoodle4076d ago

"IBM's most recent development in the Cell Processor's design is the PoweXCell 8i, which is featured in the second most powerful supercomputer in the world; Roadrunner."

I hardly think that is showing that the cell is a failure. IBM is one of the core companies that lead the way in this industry, they are constantly making new technology - so i guess for them, its time to move on.

zeeshan4076d ago

Just a couple of days ago, there was an article here on N4G stating that PS3 was a failure and that their marketing department was responsible. I was shocked to even have come across such kind of an article. Calling PS3 a failure but think about if. If today's journalists can call the third fastest selling console, currently, the most wanted console a failure then surely a fanboy can call a processor a failure! Lol

On the other hand, it's a good thing that IBM wants to move on. The world can't just linger on the same tech for ever. There needs to be more research, more development. Sony must have known this from the beginning and I bet that they already have plans for PS4 and the next cell processor. These companies are giants. They think on the levels you can't possibly imagine. Just look how IBM, Sony and TOSHIBA worked together to build the cell prcessor. The same TOSHIBA was supporting HD-DVD, a direct competition to BD. It's all business and what IBM is doing is business and it's good business. More research = more development and combine these both, you get great and cheaper products for the future :)

AAACE54076d ago

All it means is IBM is ready to move on to something else and feel that they have done as much as they could in evolving the Cell processor! They do this with every processor, so all this means is that it's time for them to move on to something else.

The version of Cell in the Ps3 won't change, so this really doesn't do anything bad for the gaming community. The only person who this may hurt is a fanboy who thought the Cell processor would be the end all for processors and would be viable for the next 20-30 years.

Anyone who is into PC's will tell you that stuff like processors and graphics cards get outdated 3-6 months after you buy them. As console owners, we are considered lucky, because when they make these consoles, they intentionally make them kind of hard to develop for so that the true power of it is unlocked towards the end of its cycle.

Raf1k14076d ago

Also, it's talking about development not production. As far as I know they're two different things.

What I understand from this is that IBM will stop developing (i.e. improving on the cell) but will continue to produce as long as Sony still has a need for them.

4076d ago
edhe4076d ago

As long as Sony keep the cell then nothing to really worry about, samsung are still making them and the design of the chips has come along way in these few years.

If this forces Sony to use another CPU design for their next console then unless they pump out super-awesome-wonderful dev tools to compensate then their console will be the blacksheep again.

4076d ago

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haha well done new account just for this article. have fun with all your accounts :)

raztad4076d ago


This should spell bad news for Micro then. Considering the xbox cpu is some sort of Cell spinoff. I read that in building xbox cpu (both the cell and xbox's) are made by IBM) the IBM - MS team took more than one input from the Cell team. Funny.

sorceror1714076d ago

@"CancellationOfTheCell&q uot; (wow, trollish name) - The PS2 was a unique hardware platform very different from every other system out there, and that didn't stop anyone from developing for it. (Hell, *everyone* developed for it.)

Even *if* the PS4 uses something besides the Cell, it'll almost certainly have a similar structure ('standard' CPU + array of special-purpose processors) - indeed, the article actually says that. Getting experience with the Cell and how it works is actually a *smart* thing to do in terms of future-proofing, because no other consoles today use this scheme, and it's the wave of the future, even in PCs.

MNicholas4076d ago (Edited 4076d ago )

How many cpus are projected to sell 100 million units?

It was the first mass market CPU with 8 programmable processors.

From a raw performance stand-point, it's revolutionary. Nothing else comes close. It's still, by a huge margin, the most powerful mass market CPU on the planet.

In absolute terms, it's much faster than the $1000 Core i7 for gaming and multimedia applications (however, i7 destroys it for running Microsoft Word and MSN Messenger). In terms of performance/watt the Cell's advantage is even greater.

Hardly a failure. Hardcore developers love the Cell.

While the Cell's SPE's are blistering fast, it does have an Achilles heel. The dual-threaded VMX-128 PowerPC core (also called the PPU) is very very slow.

Was IBM attempting to sabotage Microsoft by putting three of those mollases slow cores together to create the 360's CPU (Xenon)? Surely IBM knew how slow these were. They've got plenty of benchmarks on their web-site to prove it!

As for the PS4, it will probably follow the PS3 model of hardware backwards compatibility which will be eventually phased out.

Toshiba, the other partner in the Cell consortium (IBM, Sony, Toshiba) is manufacturing the Cell for the PS3 and has already put out various products based around it for it's own purposes, including it's own motion control technology.

Xgamerzus4076d ago

This just proves that the design and the prototype that is the Cell is going to live on !!!as it has set a new paradigm for development and design and power(more over cost!!)!! in Muliticore CPU GPU processors. All this will be carried over in the new designs of Cell that Sony will probably fund and make or who knows what next??

All I know is MUlticore is here and sony helped assure that its real and the potential is amazing!!!!
Thank Sony for taking ASMP and Cell to the industry and making them learn it and be aware of it cause this is the future!!!
And guess what they are now pushing 3d (omg) $$$$ but my wallet is

The Cell is a success cause it proved how viable the design and power is in the right hands And Im sure GT5 and Resistance 3 and Killzone 3 will prove this!!!!
Bank on that!!!!

299.00 it does everything !!!!!
Cell is like a bunch of nano bots working together to kick your ass!!!lol

Foliage4076d ago

You should watch your wording:
"third fastest selling console"
That would be the 360 (if you don't include handhelds). The PS3 is selling faster than the 360, and it has since launch. If you mentioned "the platform with the third highest total sales this generation" you would be closer to the truth, but the 360 had a year headstart (a year and a half in some important areas) and their lead is dwindling quickly. Make no mistake, the 360 is in last when you are talking about "fastest selling".

jden284076d ago

Look IBM doesn't produce cell chips Toshiba is the actual manufacturer, Sony sold them the cell plants cheap as an incentive to not try and continue the HD-DVD/Blu-Ray war. The article aslo clearly states that even though "cell" development will cease elements of the cell technology "WILL" be incorperated in future processors, and that they were moving on to develop a hybrid cpu+gpu. Go back folks and look at what the cell was originally supposed to be anyway, a master chip capable of high level computations through use of parallel programing on the spu's and aslo capable of next generation graphics display. It didn't work out that way because they ran out of time M$oft launched the x360 early and it didn't leave sony with the extra year or 2 that they needed to launch with the final version of the cell, that why they had to go to nvidia and use there most powerful chip at the time (still only average gpu).
The whole market is moving towards the cpu+gpu combo and gpu's right now have a huge advantage over traditional processors in terms of parrallel programing they've been doing it for over a decade with mutiple processors running at a lower clock speed than the cpu. It's already been proven that although the cell might be one of the mightiest cpu' out there it doesn't compare to even a mid-priced multicore gpu when it comes to parrallel processing. They have to make this move and will be all the better for it imagine a cpu+gpu combo with hundreds or thousands of multicore processors like the latest ATI chip but instead of running at a standard reduced gpu clock speed it ran at a full cpu clock speed this thing is going to be amazing. Imagine cell technology fused with the ATI chip all on one ciruit board.

IdleLeeSiuLung4076d ago

IBM invested a [email protected] load of money into this technology, train people into this archaic architecture and now realizes that the market is going towards GPU's instead.

To Sony the answer of success might be different, but it appears IBM isn't selling too many Cell driven technology. It's a failure to IBM and IBM is doing the right thing for it's shareholders.

Proxy4076d ago

"I am part of this development team and I would like to tell you something which would make you look like your comment fanboy dumb"

I'm going to assume 2 things:

1) You don't write documentation for the dev team.
2) You have a lot of free time on your hands. (As do I, and every other poster here. :)

TotalPS3Fanboy4076d ago

Sony is going with Intel Larrabee for the PS4. The Larrabee is similar to the Cell, but is way easier to program for. And with an easier to program "Cell", the PS4 will dominate every other consoles like its their pimp.

MNicholas4076d ago

They got paid hundreds of millions of dollars by Sony to develop and manufacture the chip. IBM will continue to profit from Cell through existing Cell based supercomputing applications.

Sony is working on recovering it's PS3 hardware investment via Blu-Ray and Game software. The fact that the Cell can decode Blu-Ray quality video and 7.1 audio streams without breaking a sweat and that it can assist with game rendering while powering an unprecedented level of physics simulation and animation made it a win-win for Sony.

Toshiba, who actually manufactures the Cell processor, is already unleashing general consumer products based on Cell like external video encoders and gesture recognition interfaces.

All the partners got something out of it.

aliveinboston4076d ago

You right. 100 Million projected install base is a lot but I think it will "Cell" even more. Thats because, like you said, Toshiba is putting it in a lot of their own devices. Its an awesome chip and so its good that its so successful.

@Mnichols did you get my PM?

ultimolu4076d ago (Edited 4076d ago )

Guys, ignore Cell and report his comments.

On topic: That sucks but maybe something else is better planned?

N4g_null4076d ago

This is so weird I though p3 fans believed that their wasn't going to be a ps4 for another 7-10 years.

If you think logicly why does Sony need IBM or why would IBM continue development on some thing that has been eclipsed by nvidia, intel and soon amd.

I have to golf clap for you guys for believeing hype and looking at supierior artist out put and calling it CPU power. Uncharted looks good becuase of the art not the power of the system.

The cell is not a failaur yet it is not the future due to it's many design problems which are hardware and tool related.

Sony has never made a CPU or OS and currently don't have the man power or know how to make the cell better. The ps4 make get a cell with 8 functioning cells and some more ram if there is a ps4. Yet that will be pale to what is coming out.

zeeshan4076d ago

@Foliage: What are you getting at dude? PS3 was the third fastest selling console at the launch time. It is currently outselling XBOX360 thus making it the current most wanted next-gen console and no please include Wii as it's not "next gen" at all. Where was I wrong?

rockleex4076d ago

PS3 is the 3rd fastest selling console in HISTORY, behind the Wii and PS2. He wasn't talking about just this generation of consoles.


Are you telling me Sony didn't make their own CPUs for the PS1 and PS2?

"Uncharted looks good becuase of the art not the power of the system."

Then show me a game on the 360 that looks as good as "the art" in Uncharted 1... don't even bother looking for one that looks as good as Uncharted 2.

When you fail to do so, you might as well try to find a game on the 360 with "art" that looks as good as Killzone 2, GT5, The Last Guardian, Heavy Rain, etc.

Seferoth754076d ago

PS3 is Not NEXT Gen. It's sad that Sony fans in general are that stupid. It's current gen and with years of fanboy spin it is still in 3rd place and in no shape to catch the Wii any time soon....

Also you talk about Wii not being next gen and PS3 is next gen... Okay the only thing really between the two is one offers HD graphics the other offers Motion controls.... Now which company is copying who? It's not Nintendo copying SOny for HD on Wii. It's PS3 copying motion contrls from Wii....

To anyone who isnt a fanboy it is easy to see which console is next gen and which one isnt. IF PS3 was really THE next gen console. how come nobody is copying ANYTHING they do? If Wii isnt next gen(which it is but because of the ignorance of Sony fanboys we actually have to debate that now because you kids cant understand what next gen actually means) Why are Sony and MS falling all over themselves to copy it? You do not copy last gen features. You only copy next gen features. It's clear to see who is copying who

Whitefox7894075d ago

So says the person not claiming to be a fanboy....

I wouldn't go as far to call the Wii's Hardware next gen; control system yes but you have to understand that motion control by itself is a gimmick believe me when I say my friends that own Wii's, used a Gamecube Controller for Super Smash Bros Brawl they called it a necessity to play the game. This was before the motion plus so I don't know how much its improved but my friends quoted and stated that, "Motion control is very unresponsive and majority of the time when you need to use it your just flailing your arms around"

The reason for MS and Sony getting on board of the Motion control train is because the casual people like the idea of doing their own actions for games instead of the old style with the controller (they don't want to look like a nerd even though they do anyways). So they want to make money off of this gimmick. I'll admit it is sort of copying them but as far as I can see it unless Nintendo brings something up to Sony and MS about having motion controls on their console then they have the green light to go ahead with it.

YLOD Service Tech4075d ago

Cell processing is not the future droids. Sorry.

BWS19824075d ago (Edited 4075d ago )

You fail to understand the Sony life cycle because you started gaming with Microsoft I suppose. Either that or you're bad at math. The PS3 IS intended to last 7-10 years, so from 2006 to perhaps 2013 or 2016.

Sony consoles overlap, hence PS2 came out in 2000, and is still chugging along into 2010. Get it? 10 years. PS3 came out after 6 of them, so I'm sure a PS4 will be released in a couple years, and due to the necessity of R & D time, I'm sure they are already addressing concepts on paper at this time, but probably don't have the funds to go head first into it just yet.

Seforoth, all I see is a crying baby, and since I can't read the text in your avatar, I'm going to pretend it's you crying about the possibility that the PS3 has great gaming, and has even more to come.

ssipmraw4075d ago

so your saying that the cell is a failure ehh?
claiming the cell is a failure only shows your admittance to the failure of the xbox 360s processor since the xenos is an early prototype of the cell

so in other words you sir are a failure

N4g_null4075d ago

@first Sony fanboy tell me when The eengine out preformed any thing? It is agreed that it was the weakest chip last gen finaly. The whole ps2 was a mess just like the ps1. Sony is best at making sound chips and low end chips.

On top of this bio shock easily is better than uncharted and that game is old. Ms is just not capably of supporting creativity lol. Their are studios that can easily beat uncharted's art yet they would rather use a real hd system a pc.

Please understand I'm not a ms fanboy nor a Sony fan boy and if nintendo decides to become a hype machine I have no problem in not buying their stuff also.

Lol so when is the next ps coming? Cool the ps4 will over lap the ps3 ok so when is it coming? And if the ps3 is so powerful what is the ps4 going to be left to do?

My math is fine second Sony fanboy. Yet could you tell me how bc with older systems is going to work? If you don't need that then why are you even buying games now if you will not play them in a few years.

You guys don't make much sense... Are you this desperate to ms fall. If so try talking about the games that are not crushed by 4 year old pc games. Also what makes every thing so luaghable is the fact that you guys ignore 3rd party games yes they are inferior in most cases yet powerful hardware rearly looks inferior to weaker hardware.

3rd parties could not ask for better soap boxers than the ps3 fan.

Seriouly if ps3 exculsive are all your going to play this gen I feel sorry for you. A king of the industry is now in the shadow of a Corp that does really care about any thing other than their turf and that is the pc.

If you don't understand pc gaming and real console gaming then all you can tell me is the same pr speak that comes from most Sony fanboys. Stop giving them a free past they need new customers not xbox converts.

Pc gaming maybe dead but it is only dead until it's juggernuats tire of console sales.
More hardcore gamers are unhappy this gen because Sony choose to fight ms with hype. If any thing nintendo shows you the best way to deal with ms which is to keep evolving and embracing the past with games of a similar spirit.

Stop the hardware power hype and get Sony to make more games for console owners instead of pc wanna be titles.
Tomb raider is old news and even with scripted qt mini games it is not attracting what it should.

Face it mw2 crushed your exculsives along with other games that are 3rd party. Sony is the only system maker that continues to be out done on their own console by the 3rd party.

BWS19824075d ago

I stopped reading at that point and skimmed, I never once said anything about wanting MS to fail. I have a 360 as of recent, and 5 games. I bring levity to your bias and you call it fanboyism. Sorry, pal, but you're more hateful than me and most people here, anyone can decipher that in your posts.

Nobody can say when Sony is bringing out a PS4, even Sony probably can't say, but it's inevitable, just like a new Honda next year and just like another MS OS later in a few. And if you can't wrap your head around the concept that tech is always improving, and that the PS3 is from 2006 tech, then all is lost with you. There is always growth, look at Intel, look at Nvidia, it's obvious.

+ Show (27) more repliesLast reply 4075d ago
mattygamefreak4076d ago

Anyone who says the cell is a failure is a moron who knows nothing about technology.

4076d ago
edhe4076d ago

this *is* n4g, remember.

Cell's a huge success - completely new ISA now in millions of homes.

MNicholas4076d ago (Edited 4076d ago )


4point7BillionLoss4076d ago (Edited 4076d ago )

power of the Cell ... good for folding ... bad for gaming.

Bye BYe

quote from gamer zone:

"all the great games on the ps3 have something to say regarding that"

Well, imagine an 8 core xbox ... seeing as a three core box can do exactly what an 8 core cell can do ....

Dutch Boogie4076d ago

who ever agreed to your nonsense drivel is as as your retarded as your post. Meh M$ breeds them premature these days.

thereapersson4076d ago

Funniest nonsense I've read all day. Thanks for the laugh!

Nicaragua4076d ago

Yeah right, MS cant even get make a reliable 3 core Xbox 360 and you want to talk about an 8 core version ?

Also don’t kid yourself that the Xbox is on a par with the PS3. The Best looking exclusive game on the Xbox 360 dreams of looking as good as a PS3, but then it wakes up and remembers its sh1t.

Oh yeah, and your a bell-end.

Pennywise4076d ago

Yeah... Imagine you stupid donkey. It is the only way you will get to see that.

thereapersson4076d ago (Edited 4076d ago )

Leave the poor ignorant fool alone. Can't you see by now that 360 fanboys love outdated technology, and the idea of stifling forward-thinking, reliable gaming hardware designs?


Idiot status: confirmed

Debate_cycle.exe shutting down

//end program

4point7BillionLoss4076d ago

8 cores vs 3 .... PS3 games should ALL be at least twice as amazing as xbox games.

They're not. The BEST looking game this Gen is a flipping multi-plat ... it's realistic graphics put the cell shaded cartoon called uncharted 2 to shame ...

And it just so happens that the xbox version of MW2 has a better framerate than the PS3 version ... bu bu bu teh PsFail has 8 cores ..

Bwu hahahahhahah

Losers ... PS3 gaymers ... play behind ...

iMad4076d ago (Edited 4076d ago )

Cell architecture failed for the 2nd time. The first one was in mid 90-x when similar processors was invented on paper and gained zero market share..Poor Sony..all internal studios will have to build new engines on PS4 while XBOX 360 devs will use their current engines with little dev time on next xbox.

But on the bright side we have free UE3.0 now. Sony first party can use it in PS4 :)

BreakNeckSpeed4076d ago

B... b .. buh... but TEH CELLZ

No FanS Land4076d ago

if you had a brain you would know that the Ps3 cell has 6 cores available to the devs.

CancelationOfTheCell4076d ago

8 cores in total

1 just sits there waiting for another to fail ...?
andother is for the operating system ...

5 are for Folding @ home

that last one if for drawing triangles and facebook.


talltony4076d ago

You guys are stupid if you think that. We have seen some great results from the cell processor this year. Just look at killzone 2 and Uncharted 2 and all your doubts about it will just wash away unless of course you are in denial like 4.7 billion idiots above.

Sony was right to go with the cell because they knew that they had a lot of first party devs to show what it was capable of. At the same time knowing that multiplatform titles would be performing similarly and constantly improving which they are. All I know is that SONY KNOWS WHAT THEY ARE DOING! And BTW the RSX is not a off the shelf GPU it is actually a custom built GPU to work hand in hand with the cell. What will you guys be saying when God of war 3 is running at 1080p with tons of action on screen next year? I would love to see your fanboy faces when that game is released.

TheBlackSmoke4076d ago

Errr since when is MW2 the best looking game this gen?. Bots must have low standards cos that game looks barely improved from 2 years ago.Best looking game on the 360 is RE5.... how pathetic.

Pennywise4076d ago

4.7 bill... Did you just call UC2 "CELL SHADED"?? I know you are just an ignorant troll... but you attempts fail on so many levels.

1) Cel Shaded
2) You don't even know what cel shaded graphics are... See borderlands & POP. Cel graphics have no depth to them and look like a comic book. Uncharted is the best console graphics. The depth and textures are not even close to what you call "cell Shaded"
3)MW2 best graphics??? LMAO. Seriously, try harder.

Marty83704076d ago

You prick, Toshiba makes Cells for Sony anyhow. Just cos IBM stops Cell development doesn't mean, Sony & Toshiba are.

Jump Out, play B3yond

54percent4076d ago

They cancel the cell development because IBM will work on a CPU/GPU hybrid instead a CPU only core

AuToFiRE4076d ago

just ignore him, all xbots are desperate for something bad to say about the ps3

DevastationEve4076d ago

Cell failed? Lol, that's just too funny.

Trebius4076d ago

Is that these Xbot gaylords JUMP at any chance they can to say something negative about the PS3, even if it makes them look stupid...

The bottom line is this...

The PS3, hardware wise, Is 10x better than the 360, and the exclusives show it.

The more you post your PS3 hate, the more we see your jealousy.

Just buy a ps3 and be done with keep trying to justify not buying one by posting hate threads on the internet, but you're just depriving yourself of good gaming.

More than half of the posts talking negatively about the ps3 here have no basis for their comments...and they're all full of terrible grammar and borderline retarded comments.

Xbots...get a life please? CancelationoftheCell created a brand new account just for this thread, what does that tell you?

N4G is his life, and he's pathetic, just like the rest of you that think if you type something bad about the PS3 it makes you some sort of hero in your Geek world.

Bottom line is you're losers for wasting your time badmouthing technology that you know nothing about. IBM isnt even the leading development team for the Cell, theyre just moving onto something better.

Technology lilke this has a short shelf life, because its alwayas being upgraded.

You guys can stay in the stone age with your 360, while we innovate with the ps3.

xcox4076d ago (Edited 4076d ago )

after MGS4, killzone2, uncharted2 and the upcoming GT5, the cell has nothing to prove as we all know

but we understand you have a painful @ss irritation that's not healing so you have to whiiiine like pu$$ies everytime there's a bit o news reminding you why your @ss hurts like that

it's ok... we understand

jhoang4075d ago

OMG the ps3 has 1 core, and 8 spe's one is locked and one is for xmb or something so that leaves 6.

+ Show (17) more repliesLast reply 4075d ago
ExPresident4076d ago

They are done with the "Cell". That hardly means they are done with creating new chip sets. I'm sure they've already been working on a new project. Considering the Cell is used in a super computer shows its not a failure.

sloth4urluv4076d ago

To me this dosnt say that the cell is a failure. Parallel computing is just heading in a different direction. Obviously sony will stick with their tech since the spent alot investing in it, just because IBM is pulling out dosnt mean they wont make anymore cells.

kwyjibo4076d ago

Being used in a supercomputer is no mark of success either - accelerator cards such from ClearSpeed have been incorporated into supercomputers too - and they are by far a success.

I believe that the Cell has been a failure, those who don't, obviously have far more modest goals.

The Cell wanted to become the number one media chip out there. It wanted to be in every home entertainment device. It wanted to be an accelerator card inside normal specced machines. It didn't achieve that.

4076d ago
edhe4076d ago

Cell would've been bigger had most of the silicon headed to retail not been packaged into a ps3.

IIRC sony had cornered the cell market for their console and there just weren't enough cells to go around to get to what they were wanting to do.

I think by now they were intending on having cells in the tv, the pc, the console and your phone. PS3 swallowed them all though.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 4076d ago