Cell successor with turbo mode - PowerXCell 8i

Perhaps it is pure coincidence and the cause is the Top500 listing. But it makes me wonder if there is a connection between Sonys withdrawal and the specifications IBM let loose about the Cell2+ aka PowerXCell 8i.

The Cell successor gets DDR2 RAM support. On the QS22 Blade there are 3 stages of RAM. 4GB shared memory per Cell with 21 GB/S per chip. 8GB NUMA shared memory per blade and 16 GB distributed memory per node. The Roadrunner supercomputer at the Los Alamos National Laboratory will combine the enhanced Cell blade with Opteron LS21 blades.

The enhanced double precision performance will top out at 102.4 GFlop/s. But that's only for a special 3 variable functions (FMAC) that multiplies and add in one step. If the solution to a problem is something different, the performance might drop significant. That reflects the wide gap between the benchmark results and common performance on real problem computation.

The enhanced Cell might be called PowerXCell 8i and should be available in 2008 in 65nm.

The german news magazine heise online has a story about it with links to a pdf that gives some detail about the Roadrunner project and the PowerXCell 8i.

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