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IBM kills Cell chip line - Ninthing kills Sony then wakes up sticky, confused

gofreak

GAF's Bob Woodward
Jun 8, 2004
43,347
1
1,645
Panajev2001a said:
True, but with IBM not pushing the CBEA as previously planned for internal use, there is much less chance for CELL to be competitive and reasonable...

Sony does not seem interested in investing hundreds of millions in pure R&D for a new CPU, Toshiba does not seem already lined up for PS4 (IMHO I do not see them working on PS4 at all)... Backward compatibility and security (well, security first and foremost) are the two biggest reasons for a CELL based PS4 CPU...

The first point can be worked around with emulation (PS3 titles with some small graphical enhancements [say better AA and AF] will still look very good on PS4 and can be sold on the PSN store) and sufficiently capable hardware.

The second point can be solved by a different Hypervisor based solution (Sony has been able to study the effects of the security model developed for PS3).

Then price and performance for native PS4 titles and compatibility with the likely LRB based GPU come in... can a CELL based CPU compete with what Intel can offer when the burden of R&D investment is now solely on Sony's head (instead of being shared by IBM and Toshiba too)?
The question of what's going to actually go into PS4, what would be the best choice for Sony, what would be competitive are indeed interesting and open.

But I was purely focussed on rubbishing this notion that Sony CAN'T use Cell in a future Playstation.

They could if they wanted. Whether it would be a good choice or not is open to question though, and you cover a lot of the pertinent points. I'm not sure if it would, IMO I think it depends a lot on the backwards compatability question. If there's a better choice available that keeps them covered in terms of BC, then by all means they should choose that. I think I like the idea of a tweaked Cell + a 'big' gpu/cpu hybrid ala Larrabee.
 

CrushDance

Banned
Sep 9, 2006
15,029
0
0
Svpam said:
Indeed, its 2009, and what Sony did in past generations makes them outshine any other company even now.
What? Noo. Wii and DS are the biggest brands in gaming right now, period. They're basically the "iPOD" of gaming right now. Them saying DS/Wii are big does not mean Playstation is irrelevant.
 

[Nintex]

Member
Jun 21, 2005
18,889
5
1,380
30
The Netherlands
www.n1ntendo.nl
Svpam said:
Indeed, its 2009, and what Sony did in past generations makes them outshine any other company even now.
You were obviously not around when the skies were covered with stars and the ground with rings. We ran around with red shoe's and red hats, eating Zelda cereal and watching Sonic the Hedgehog on television. Or we beat each other up at school to decide if Aladin on SNES or Genesis was superior. Movie/cartoon games used to be good, we went to the moon with Scrooge McDuck and experienced Jurassic Park for real. Well I don't recall much about that time either, but I still realize that the golden age of gaming has been long gone.
 

Taurus

Member
Dec 3, 2006
3,195
0
0
The land of hope and glory

Ninja Moomin

Banned
Dec 8, 2008
3,131
0
0
legend166 said:
I can't decide which is funnier, this or the OP.

The playstation brand is still widely respected, known, and regarded among most consumers... it's not as tarnished as people think.



Anyway.... are we basically saying that all this Cell-specific tech sony have worked on and developers have worked on... will go in the bin next gen?
 

PuppetSlave

Member
May 11, 2006
5,142
0
0
Sweden
NinjaFusion said:
The playstation brand is still widely respected, known, and regarded among most consumers... it's not as tarnished as people think.
Good news! There actually is a middle ground between most powerful brand and awful.
 

Tiduz

Eurogaime
May 20, 2006
9,635
0
1,455
34
Netherlands
Falafelkid said:
IBM is discontinuing the Cell chip line of products. A successor to the current PowerXCell-8i chip will not be brought to market, the company's Vice President of Deep Computing, David Turek, told the German IT news site Heise. Turek did note that the Cell design was not dead and would in parts be implemented across IBM's various other chip designs. The future, though, belongs to hybrid designs and heterogenous multiprocessing, Turek said.

The ramifications for a possible successor to the PlayStation3 could be significant. Its architecture can no longer be Cell-based, which would entail the following: Firstly, backwards compatibility to the PS3 would no longer be possible on a hardware basis. It would have to be emulated, which is always the worse option. And, secondly, Sony could no longer look forward to a relatively cheap research and development budget for the PS4.

Allow me to speculate a little here. Over the past two years, various reports have sprung up that Sony was very much considering a Cell-based chip for the PS4.




Of course, IBM would not discontinue a chip line if Sony was still interested in it. So we can safely assume that Sony changed its mind. But why? A Cell-based solution would have had many advantages for the company, as noted above. One possible explanation would be that Sony has cancelled its plans for another PlayStation and will be leaving the home console market. Analysts discussed this option years ago.

And while the slimmer version and price cut have helped the console gain some market share, the price cut is costing Sony dearly. The Washington Post reported that Sony is further away from profitability than previously thought.




In my mind, Sony withdrawing from the home console market altogether is a real possibility. And IBM discontinuing the Cell chip line may be the first indicator of such a move. Any thoughts?

P.S.: This story from my blog.

:lol :lol :lol :lol :lol :lol :lol :lol :lol :lol :lol :lol :lol :lol :lol :lol :lol :lol :lol :lol :lol :lol :lol :lol :lol :lol
 

CTLance

Member
Jul 21, 2007
11,844
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0
Bavaria, Germany
Reading through the heise.de article again while sipping tea it does indeed not look good for Cell.

Killing their next step in the roadmap is definitely not a good sign. Telling your clients to write OpenCL code to stay platform agnostic flexible does not help after that, especially if you state that "parts of the Cell design will live on" and hint that Cell BEs may become coprocessors.

IBMs PR department will be crying bloody murder, I bet, no matter what the truth of the matter is.

That doesn't mean they'll just kill the entire family off. I have doubts this will ever affect Sony in any way, too. Still, it certainly sounds like Cell has suffered from a setback. What does ProcessorGAF say? I'm more of an interested layperson in that regard.
 

Boerseun

Banned
Aug 12, 2006
3,756
0
0
Suid-Afrika / Duitsland
Disregarding speculation, the bottom line is that there is no Cell without IBM. Sony brought the marketing, Toshiba brought the notions of extended functionality, IBM brought the actual chip design and production. All three brought money, but money can't buy you love. The other two can go, but the party's over if IBM leaves.

I'm predicting Sony will stay in gaming, but solely as makers of an as yet unannounced handheld system. I wouldn't put it past them to make it really powerful and slap the Playstation 4 label on it. Marketing will focus on convincing the consumer that console gaming is dead and that portable gaming is the only way to go. Sony will continue losing money before pulling out completely, GAF will explode with megatons and weeping, and that will be the end of it. Sega (in partnership with Microsoft) vs. Nintendo two gens from now. I can't wait.
 

Dapperk

Member
Jun 15, 2004
10,399
45
1,515
Boerseun said:
Disregarding speculation, the bottom line is that there is no Cell without IBM. Sony brought the marketing, Toshiba brought the notions of extended functionality, IBM brought the actual chip design and production. All three brought money, but money can't buy you love. The other two can go, but the party's over if IBM leaves.

I'm predicting Sony will stay in gaming, but solely as makers of an as yet unannounced handheld system. I wouldn't put it past them to make it really powerful and slap the Playstation 4 label on it. Marketing will focus on convincing the consumer that console gaming is dead and that portable gaming is the only way to go. Sony will continue losing money before pulling out completely, GAF will explode with megatons and weeping, and that will be the end of it. Sega (in partnership with Microsoft) vs. Nintendo two gens from now. I can't wait.
Wow this ride isn't over by a long shot :lol
 

Durante

Member
Oct 1, 2006
48,836
1
0
peter.metaclassofnil.com
NinjaFusion said:
Anyway.... are we basically saying that all this Cell-specific tech sony have worked on and developers have worked on... will go in the bin next gen?
Maybe the very specific parts of it, but in the larger picture it's still very valuable. I think the quality of early next-gen games will be up a lot thanks to developers having worked with something containing more than 3 cores and a memory architecture where you can't just hope for cache taking care of everything for you.
 

jorma

is now taking requests
Jun 4, 2007
11,893
0
1,135
Sweden
Boerseun said:
Disregarding speculation, the bottom line is that there is no Cell without IBM. Sony brought the marketing, Toshiba brought the notions of extended functionality, IBM brought the actual chip design and production. All three brought money, but money can't buy you love. The other two can go, but the party's over if IBM leaves.

I'm predicting Sony will stay in gaming, but solely as makers of an as yet unannounced handheld system. I wouldn't put it past them to make it really powerful and slap the Playstation 4 label on it. Marketing will focus on convincing the consumer that console gaming is dead and that portable gaming is the only way to go. Sony will continue losing money before pulling out completely, GAF will explode with megatons and weeping, and that will be the end of it. Sega (in partnership with Microsoft) vs. Nintendo two gens from now. I can't wait.
Wont be much left of your post if we were to do that, though...
 

Azure J

Member
Jun 12, 2008
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twitter.com
I had a massive WTF look on my face when I first saw the thread title, only to be amazingly entertained by the developments of this thread. GAF mods keep that pimp hand swift and strong it seems. :lol
 

McBradders

NeoGAF: my new HOME
Mar 26, 2007
12,541
1
635
London
Boerseun said:
Disregarding speculation, the bottom line is that there is no Cell without IBM. Sony brought the marketing, Toshiba brought the notions of extended functionality, IBM brought the actual chip design and production. All three brought money, but money can't buy you love. The other two can go, but the party's over if IBM leaves.

I'm predicting Sony will stay in gaming, but solely as makers of an as yet unannounced handheld system. I wouldn't put it past them to make it really powerful and slap the Playstation 4 label on it. Marketing will focus on convincing the consumer that console gaming is dead and that portable gaming is the only way to go. Sony will continue losing money before pulling out completely, GAF will explode with megatons and weeping, and that will be the end of it. Sega (in partnership with Microsoft) vs. Nintendo two gens from now. I can't wait.
Hey, the OP has an second account!
 

Ninja Moomin

Banned
Dec 8, 2008
3,131
0
0
Tiduz said:
:lol :lol :lol :lol :lol :lol :lol :lol :lol :lol :lol :lol :lol :lol :lol :lol :lol :lol :lol :lol :lol :lol :lol :lol :lol :lol

that part is hilarious... :D

but the fact is that with no IBM there is no cell...

And that does raise major issues


1 - the upgrade path for sony will be tough... whereas it seems a given that MS will be using ati / custom powerpc again... meaning that backwards compatibility could be an issue... with the PSN and XBLM becoming a key part of the market, the ability to migrate that content across to the new systems will be important... an you imagine if MS just carry their market place across and all of sony's PSN games don't work, for instance? epic fail.

2 - Developers... all their custom cell tech becomes useless. Who will optimise for the cell during the later years of the PS3 if it becomes clear that all that tech will end up in the bin. On the flip side they might well welcome a move away from cell and it could mean the next two systems have a much more equal footing in terms of support / ports, etc.

3 - do we go through another couple of years where sony's in-house studio output is hamstrung by learning the tech rather than making games...?


it looks very hazy for sony in terms of how you manage all of this with a move to a new chipset... especially if microsoft offers developers and publishers an easy / smooth transition.


Interesting times ahead!!!!
 

ElFly

Member
Sep 3, 2006
16,567
0
0
Maybe this is just IBM saying that they want more of Sony's money to continue R&D on the cell.

I mean, developing it must have been good business for IBM?
 

Holtz

Member
Feb 3, 2006
3,729
0
0
Boerseun said:
Disregarding speculation, the bottom line is that there is no Cell without IBM. Sony brought the marketing, Toshiba brought the notions of extended functionality, IBM brought the actual chip design and production. All three brought money, but money can't buy you love. The other two can go, but the party's over if IBM leaves.

I'm predicting Sony will stay in gaming, but solely as makers of an as yet unannounced handheld system. I wouldn't put it past them to make it really powerful and slap the Playstation 4 label on it. Marketing will focus on convincing the consumer that console gaming is dead and that portable gaming is the only way to go. Sony will continue losing money before pulling out completely, GAF will explode with megatons and weeping, and that will be the end of it. Sega (in partnership with Microsoft) vs. Nintendo two gens from now. I can't wait.
Okay.... :lol
 

kamorra

Fuck Cancer
Jan 13, 2007
6,290
0
0
twitter.com
Boerseun said:
Disregarding speculation, the bottom line is that there is no Cell without IBM. Sony brought the marketing, Toshiba brought the notions of extended functionality, IBM brought the actual chip design and production. All three brought money, but money can't buy you love. The other two can go, but the party's over if IBM leaves.

I'm predicting Sony will stay in gaming, but solely as makers of an as yet unannounced handheld system. I wouldn't put it past them to make it really powerful and slap the Playstation 4 label on it. Marketing will focus on convincing the consumer that console gaming is dead and that portable gaming is the only way to go. Sony will continue losing money before pulling out completely, GAF will explode with megatons and weeping, and that will be the end of it. Sega (in partnership with Microsoft) vs. Nintendo two gens from now. I can't wait.
:lol :lol :lol
 

badcrumble

Member
May 12, 2006
26,793
4
0
Boerseun said:
Disregarding speculation, the bottom line is that there is no Cell without IBM. Sony brought the marketing, Toshiba brought the notions of extended functionality, IBM brought the actual chip design and production. All three brought money, but money can't buy you love. The other two can go, but the party's over if IBM leaves.

I'm predicting Sony will stay in gaming, but solely as makers of an as yet unannounced handheld system. I wouldn't put it past them to make it really powerful and slap the Playstation 4 label on it. Marketing will focus on convincing the consumer that console gaming is dead and that portable gaming is the only way to go. Sony will continue losing money before pulling out completely, GAF will explode with megatons and weeping, and that will be the end of it. Sega (in partnership with Microsoft) vs. Nintendo two gens from now. I can't wait.
:lol wow
 
Aug 14, 2006
11,638
0
0
Didn't Toshiba and Sony both drop out of cell manufacturing before? Meaning that IBM are the sole producers of cell arcitecture processors?

If that's the case then wouldn't the article be correct about the lack of ability to use an enhanced cell processor at low cost for the PS4 then? (since it would have to be made on request, thus infating the manufacturing costs significantly)
 

Doubledex

Banned
Jul 20, 2007
4,071
0
0
Nuclear Muffin said:
Didn't Toshiba and Sony both drop out of cell manufacturing before? Meaning that IBM are the sole producers of cell arcitecture processors?

If that's the case then wouldn't the article be correct about the lack of ability to use an enhanced cell processor at low cost for the PS4 then? (since it would have to be made on request, thus infating the manufacturing costs significantly)
Nope
 

gofreak

GAF's Bob Woodward
Jun 8, 2004
43,347
1
1,645
NinjaFusion said:
that part is hilarious... :D

but the fact is that with no IBM there is no cell...

And that does raise major issues


1 - the upgrade path for sony will be tough... whereas it seems a given that MS will be using ati / custom powerpc again... meaning that backwards compatibility could be an issue... with the PSN and XBLM becoming a key part of the market, the ability to migrate that content across to the new systems will be important... an you imagine if MS just carry their market place across and all of sony's PSN games don't work, for instance? epic fail.

2 - Developers... all their custom cell tech becomes useless. Who will optimise for the cell during the later years of the PS3 if it becomes clear that all that tech will end up in the bin. On the flip side they might well welcome a move away from cell and it could mean the next two systems have a much more equal footing in terms of support / ports, etc.

3 - do we go through another couple of years where sony's in-house studio output is hamstrung by learning the tech rather than making games...?


it looks very hazy for sony in terms of how you manage all of this with a move to a new chipset... especially if microsoft offers developers and publishers an easy / smooth transition.


Interesting times ahead!!!!
This almost as bad as the OP albeit a touch more articulate. It's predicated on the same assertion - that Sony can no longer use Cell if IBM stops using it.

There is absolutely nothing stopping Sony from just sticking another variant of Cell into the PS4 if they want to do that.

IBM's own plans for the chip have nothing to do with that. Anymore than their own plans, or lack thereof, for Xenon or ATi's plans for DX7 hardware have anything to do with Microsoft's or Nintendo's ability to use that hardware or variants of it in their designs, for example.

I don't know if Sony will use Cell again in PS4, but saying they cannot is silly.

If they choose not to use Cell then I would wonder about BC and how they'll manage that. It'd obviously be a much greater challenge, much less straightforward than just putting another Cell design in there. But we shall see what happens.
 

stalker

Member
Mar 1, 2006
1,419
0
0
This falafelkid nick sounds familiar to me from the pre-wii nintendo speculation era. I kind of remember rumours about 3D and holograms for the revolution. Same guy? I'm surprised to find him on GAF