IBM develops blade server-based on “cell” technology

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IBM develops blade server-based on “cell” technology

Cliff Saran

IBM has developed a blade server based on its Cell Broadband Engine, a microprocessor that will power Sony’s Playstation 3, due out later this year.

The blade server, called BladeCenter H, can be linked to others using a new switch jointly developed by Cisco and IBM.

The Cisco InfiniBand Switch Module is a 4X InfiniBand switch that provides high-speed interconnect capability.

The switch module, specifically designed for this blade server, is four times faster than previous generations, IBM said.

Based on IBM’s Power Architecture, the Cell BE processor being used in the new blade server was developed in collaboration with IBM, Sony and Toshiba.

The technology, which has been in development since 2001, aims to mimic how cells in a body unite to form complete physical systems.

The “Cell” architecture will allow all kinds of electronic devices (from consumer products to supercomputers) to work together, signalling a new era in Internet entertainment, communications and collaboration, IBM said.

The cell architecture is designed to use ultra-high-speed broadband connectivity to enable computers to interoperate with one another as one complete system, similar to the way neural cells interoperate in a brain.

IBM said that US defence contractor Raytheon has already said it will be using Cell technology in its missile defence systems.

Along with applications for media, the technology can be deployed in areas like radar, and Cat scanners to process image data in real time, Tikiri Wanduragala, senior consultant at IBM, said.

It can also be deployed in data management applications, where users need to analyse data quickly.


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