IBM Cell Processor is no Intel Killer

A closely guarded secret for five years, IBM’s Cell processor has finally been unveiled, and the chip is expected to have a major impact on the video game market, reports In-Stat (http://www.in-stat.com). The goal of Cell developers was to create a new architecture that could process the next generation of broadband media andgraphics with greater efficiency than the traditional approaches of ultradeep pipelines and the ganging of numerous complex and power-inefficient, out-of-order RISC or CISC cores, the high-techmarket research firm said. The chip will be a major part of Sony’s Next Generation Game Console, and may have other applications, but is unlikely to encroach dramatically on Intel’s territory.

“Some have called Cell an Intel killer, which is completely ridiculous,” said Kevin Krewell, In-Stat analyst. “The only place where the Cell processor can be considered competition for Intel will be where the Sony Next Generation Game Console competes with the Media Center PC.”

A recent report by In-Stat found the following:

— The total combined PlayStation 3, Xbox 2 & Revolution revenue forecast will rise from $1.1 billion in 2005 to $9.4 billion in 2008.

— Most of the actual chips in the Cell family are unannounced. The only announced product from the family is the version to be placed in Sony’s PlayStation 3.

— Overall, Sony will remain the market leader in the next generation of consoles with its release of the PlayStation 3. In-Stat expects both Microsoft and Nintendo to close the gap and release next-generation consoles of their own.