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RE: Occam and the parallel Playstation

We actually had a good talk from someone at IBM last year.  If my memory serves me correctly the plan was to move the various satellite processors found in a normal system (graphics card, sound, etc) into the Cell Processor, thereby connecting them with a faster bus.  It’s surprising to read in the first article therefore:


Sony eventually turned to nVidia for a PC-type graphics processor similar to the one used in the Xbox. The reality still seems to be a little short of the hype.


The Cell Processor’s communication system was also supposedly designed using CSP.  I do remember reading that the Transterpreter people (http://www.transterpreter.org) wanted to use the Cell Processor.  If they had contact or not I’m not sure.


Another “rumour” I heard was that when released it was going to be in the top 10 processors, and that the plan was to have them talking to each other and exploiting idle processor clocks whenever possible.  How true these statements are and how much of it is computer press hype I don’t know.


I don’t know if anyone has ever tried running KRoC on a Playstation.  Linux for the Playstation 2 is available (for example http://blackrhino.xrhino.com) and maybe in will become available for the Playstation 3.  If so, could the individual cores be used or would it be viewed as one processor?  Maybe if someone showed what was possible with KRoC on such a system we may get some interest from the games community.


Kevin Chalmers

Research Student

School of Computing

Napier University


From: owner-occam-com@xxxxxxxxxx [mailto:owner-occam-com@xxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Andrew Delin
Sent: 03 August 2006 07:51
To: occam-com@xxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Occam and the parallel Playstation


Hi there,


I thought this was interesting - a piece about Sony's new Cell architecture for their PlayStation 3 (PSP3). Apparently it is a parallel platform.


For some reason I was not surprised to read this:


  "However, doubts were raised about its suitability for games playing, and whether software developers could actually exploit its power"




I wondered whether this was due to a missing language for parallel programming. Elsewhere I found:


  "The PlayStation 3's primary programming language will be C, unlike the PS2 which relied heavily on assembly"




In my mind this is a commercial example that reinforces the importance of having the right language. If future computing platforms are parallel (whether in the lounge or at work), process-orientation (as in CSP and Occam) is not a nicety but a business requirement.


Hope this is of interest to some.





Andrew Delin

Microsoft Consulting Services

South Australia

+61 (0)8  8217 7417




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