IBM's QSZ2 Cell-based blade server received nary a mention at last week's SC09 supercomputing trade show in Oregon. And for good reason. Top brass in IBM's Systems and Technology Group killed the product off about 18 months ago, according to sources familiar with situation. The QSZ2 blade server was slated to use a future …
Murder is the word.
"heaven knows what Toshiba has made, but the Cell chips are in TVs, apparently"
Well a little online research would tell you - they make the SpursEngine chip, which is available on a PCI card, contains hardware AVC encoder, hardware MPEG-2 encoder, hardware decoders for both, and four SPUs running at 1.6GHz (half the clock-rate of PS3).
Outside TVs, the PCI card is used for video transcoding, natch, but also for some niche applications. For instance, Howler Technologies ships a G729A codec for SpursEngine which can offload 425 simultaneous calls onto the SpursEngine card (disclaimer: I wrote it).
Neither Nintendo nor Microsoft will probably be interested in chipping in. Their CPU chips are closer to straight POWER chips with no SPEs to speak of--they have no interest in that kind of tech since they'd be more likely to pick a good GPU to go along with it, and with increasing use of GPUs as GPGPU, this may provide them more bang for the buck in an area where power has to be balanced with price.