Definition

Cell processor (CELL)

Part of the Microprocessors glossary:

The Cell processor (also called CELL) is a microprocessor chip with a multi-core , parallel processing architecture and floating-point design. The chip, the prototype for which was introduced early in 2005, is the product of a team of engineers from IBM, Sony Group, and Toshiba Corporation.

The Cell processor has 234 million transistor s, measures 235 square millimeters (mm2) in size, can run at speeds of more than 4 gigahertz ( GHz ), has a memory bandwidth of 25.6 gigabyte s per second (GBps), and has an input/output (I/O) bandwidth of 76.8 GBps . There are nine core s, one of which is the equivalent of a PowerPC chip and acts as the controller. The other eight cores are vector processor s, each of which is capable of 32 billion (thousand-million) floating point operations per second ( GFLOPS ). The Cell processor has a multi-channel memory subsystem along with several high-speed interconnects for I/O devices or other Cell processors.

The Cell processor can support multiple operating system s running simultaneously. It is expected to find applications in multimedia, gaming, smart home s, and desktop supercomputing.

This was last updated in March 2011
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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