[Beowulf] Has anyone actually seen/used a cell system?

Andrew Shewmaker agshew at gmail.com
Sat Sep 30 23:05:52 PDT 2006

On 9/19/06, J.A.Delcorso at larc.nasa.gov <J.A.Delcorso at larc.nasa.gov> wrote:
> If this has already been discussed on the list, a pointer
> to the thread would be appreciated!
> Looking over the list I found a couple references to the
> IBM cell processors being used in PS3.  Has anyone had a
> chance to actually use/test one of these systems yet?
> Considering that the PS3 is supposed to be competing with
> the XBOX 360 and the Wii, I assume that it's out, or that
> someone has actually used one of these systems.
> Can anyone point me to a url, or tell me what their
> experience is with this technology?  Is it as fast as
> it's purported to be?  Apparently RedHat is developing
> EL 4.3 to run on the system?
> Any input is appreciated,

People in Stanford's graphics lab are doing promising
work making the Cell easier to program.

They have been busy creating a programming language
called Sequoia that focuses on memory hierarchies.  A
programmer defines a task that recursively decomposes
the input data until it reaches the bottom of the memory
hierarchy, where it runs an optimized kernel.  The runtime
environment uses a specification of the memory hierarchy
for the generic PC cluster, Cell Blade Server, etc.  In the
case of a cluster, the runtime is built on top of MPI.  In the
case of a Cell Blade Server, the runtime manages task
overlays and asynchronous DMA transfers of the data.

They have a paper that explains it well and has some
interesting benchmarks.


And the public release of their compiler and runtime
system should be publically available soon.  The site
does have some more documentation of Sequoia.


Andrew Shewmaker

More information about the Beowulf mailing list