IBM has begun producing the new 65 nanometer (nm) version of its Cell Broadband Engine processor at its East Fishkill microchip factory in New York.
The Cell chip, which was unveiled in a hail of publicity last year, was jointly developed by IBM, Sony Group and Toshiba.
It is described as a “supercomputer-on-a-chip”, providing breakthrough performance for consumer electronics, medical imaging, design engineering and other graphics-intensive applications.
In addition to serving as the “digital heartbeat” of Sony’s Playstation3, the chip appears in IBM’s BladeCenter servers.
A team of computer scientists from IBM, Sony and Toshiba had been secretly collaborating on the development of the Cell microprocessor at a joint design centre in Austin, Texas, since March 2001.
The 65nm format of the chip allows Big Blue and its partners to fit more transistors on it, boosting performance without leaking power.
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