Cell TV From Toshiba To Deliver Awesome Capability

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Privately executives from Samsung and LG who are attending this year’s CES show in Las Vegas are concerned about Toshiba’s Cell processor and their upcoming Cell TV offering. They know that the processor has an enormous amount of headroom and processing capability and that if integrated properly into either a TV or a separate set top box could deliver enormous processing capability for managing TV and online content or gaming.


Toshiba is showing their new Cell TV and its separate Cell set top box which they say will record six Full HD channels at once while also processing content to a screen at a higher resolution than Blu ray.


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Toshiba’s Cell Processor Set Top Box


The heart of the Sony PS3, Sony has spent the last two year singing the praises of the Cell processor before they suddenly sold the manufacturing of the processor to Toshiba who are now set to deliver a series of offerings featuring a cell processor.

One analyst at the show said that Toshiba had the potential to deliver an “awesome” TV experience with the Cell processor and that the processing capability of the chip will allow them to deliver gaming and other activities to a TV.


 Insiders at Toshiba have said that they are developing software to run on Cells in their consumer goods.  They have talked about a “custom” OS (actually Linux) in which tasks are divided into SPE and PPE “modules”.  Each SPE module is a sub-task which can operate using one or more SPEs depending on the compute power required, modules can also stream data to one another.

 

 


According to PS Coders a complete task may consist of a number of modules which each some processing then pass the results to the next module.  The new Toshiba TV will be able to decode digital TV signals.  To demonstrate they showed a single Cell decoding 48 standard definition MPEG2 streams and scaling the results to a single HDTV screen.  The demo is said to run without frame drops and one of the SPEs was left idle while all this was going on.


Originally developed by IBM the multibillion dollar development program for the Cell centred on the delivery of blisteringly fast 64 bit processing which if harnessed  in a TV will allow content to not only be streamed from web to set top box quickly but from set top box to a screen at up to 3 times the resolution of 1080p.


Cell doesn’t appear to have any limitations regarding which Operating Systems it can run with some industry executives speculating that we could well see the cell processor in a media centre notebook running under a Linux based OS.

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