The first laptops to make use of the SpursEngine, a multimedia co-processor derived from the Cell chip that powers the PlayStation 3, will go on sale in Japan in July. Toshiba will launch its Qosmio G50 and F40 machines with the chip, which contains four of the “Synergistic Processing Elements” from the Cell Broadband Engine processor. The Cell chip used in the PlayStation 3 has eight of the SPE cores plus a Power PC main processor. The SPE cores perform the heavy number-crunching that makes the console’s graphics so stunning.
The SpursEngine SE1000 will work in much the same way in the laptops. The operating system will run on an Intel Core 2 Duo chip and the SpursEngine will be called on to handle processor-intensive tasks, such as processing of high-definition video. This arrangement means the laptop should be capable of some tricks that haven’t been seen on machines until now.