Those of you familiar with past coverage of the Sony-IBM collaboration on Cell processors should be familiar with Jon Stokes’ take on the matter: the Cell is a high-performance chip that happens to be okay at running games. The ability of the processor’s SPEs to run code independently makes it a natural fit for problems that benefit from parallel processing. Although Sony’s PlayStation3 remains the largest market for the chip, IBM has been hoping to see more applications in high-performance computing. To that end, it has tried to foster interest within the academic world by sponsoring student challenges designed to get the next generation of academics familiar with the system.
The winning projects were announced at the Power.org Developer Conference, and the people behind them were sprinkled with gadgets including Palm Tungstens and iPods and sent home with (x86-driven) Thinkpads. Most of the winning projects involved taking existing ideas that could leverage the distinct properties of the Cell and either implementing or porting code to do so. The grand prize winners appear to be distinct in that they went a bit further afield in looking for their ideas: they implemented a visual object recognition system based on the behavior of the system that operates in the brain.
Sony, PlayStation 3, PSP3, HVS