Cell processors - What is old is new again (Re: More ePay madness

Michael B. Brutman mbbrutman-cctalk at brutman.com
Sat Nov 18 09:24:02 CST 2006

jim stephens wrote:
> I'd just like one of the Cell processors, forget the game, to play with,
> and a linux distro to run on it.
> Sorry for way way off topic.

Jim - check out IBM's web site.  A simulator for the Cell chip and an 
SDK (version 1.1) are available.  (SDK 2.0 is coming out soon.)  You can 
download onto a Fedora Core 5 x86 box and simulate your own Cell 
processor, including Linux and the Cell specific stuff.

Cell reminds me a lot of programming on my older iron.  The 'SPUs' are 
coprocessors with 256KB of memory, no cache, no virtual memory, no 
shared libs, etc.  If you start trashing your code with a loose pointer, 
it just hangs. The CPU pipelines are very simple, so static timing 
analysis is possible.

And one of the best joys of programming on Cell is scheduling your own 
DMA transfers. :-)


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