% fortune -ae paul murphy

News from the Cell

In IT there's always something important happening somewhere. Mostly, we don't find out until long afterward, but tomorrow will be different because we already know that IBM's von Arnd Bergmann will be taking the wraps off the cell programming model at Linuxtag (Karlsruhe, Germany) 2005. He'll focus, apparently, on Linux kernel and applications modifications needed to take advantage of the eight on board grid processors.

That's going to be interesting - but so's another development. According to several different translations of an interview given the Japanese PC watch site, Sony entertainment president Ken Kutaragi made a number of extremely interesting comments about cell.

Here are two of them, taken from an interpretation of what he said on on the psd3.ign site.

Sony is looking into having Linux installed from the start on the PS3 hard disk. Referring to Linux as being "legacy," Kutaragi adds that it's just the start, as with Cell, the operating system runs as an application on top of the basic Cell OS. The presence of the Cell OS allows for multiple operating systems to run on the machine simultaneously, including, of course, Linux, but also making room for Windows and Apple's Tiger OS.

Bear in mind that the core processor was apparently designed as an enticement for Apple to sign-up -that's why a machine with eight enormously powerful grid processors has a totally redundant Altivec short array processor attached to the central, PowerPC compliant, CPU.

Paul Murphy wrote and published The Unix Guide to Defenestration. Murphy is a 25-year veteran of the I.T. consulting industry, specializing in Unix and Unix-related management issues.