Remember Terra Soft and its Yellow Dog Linux for Power processors? Well, Yellow Dog is no longer the darling Linux for Apple machines since the latter company switched to Intel Core and Xeon processors for its PCs and servers a few years back. And Terra Soft doesn't exist any more, after it was acquired by a Japanese company …
It can't be helped
I keep wondering what would have happened if Yellow Dog was bought by South Korean interests.
...and just to try and play a Flash video as smoothly as Windows XP on an old P4.
Not sure I agree
"With Cell being left in the hands of Sony and Toshiba for future development, all companies that had a stake in the Cell game have to look for other platforms on which to serve their niches."
Not sure I agree. The Toshiba SpursEngine card is easy to come by and easy(ish) to program, and adds 12.8GFLOPS to a standard PC, without all that GPGPU nonsense. The PX-CAB is, AFAIK, also still available, which puts a full Cell into a PC.
IBM's mistake was putting just the Cell into a blade - the Cell is a remarkably underpowered CPU for running normal kernel and application code. Where it shines is when you can run kernel and application code on a processor designed for it (i.e. x86) and offload to the Cell for your high-bandwidth numerical processing. IBM's blades missed the mark here, while costing at least 4x as much as an equivalent PC + PCIe Cell card combo.
But to the original point, I work at a company right now (Howler Technologies) and our product line still includes SpursEngine codec accelerators, with no imminent plans to move on (and move on to what? Larrabee may not be dead, but it's definitely tired and shagged out after a particularly long squawk.)
SpursEngine vs GeForce
@"GPGPU nonsense" ... Wake up, GPUs have come a long way since early GPGPU work. Also the SpursEngine is not even close to the processing power of even older Cuda GeForce cards, i.e.
Leadtek SpursEngine US (£214, 128Mb Ram, 48 Gflops, 1xPCIe)
Thomson Firecoder Blu SpursEngine (£400, 48 Gflops, 1xPCIe)
Now compare this with even an old GPU card...
e.g. GeForce GT 220, (£50, 1Gb Ram, 192 Gflops, 16xPCIe 2.0)
Or better yet...
GeForce GTX 285 (£350, 2Gb Ram, 1062.72 Gflops, 16xPCIe 2.0)
(Thats similar cost, 16 times the ram, 22 times the GFlops and 32 times the PCIe speed!)
The SpursEngine cards don't even come close to NVidia (or ATI). Plus I've not even compared SpursEngine to NVidia Fermi cards which are even faster.
is it me or does the title sound extremely dirty?
The SpursEngine certainly is easy to come by, in the form of the card from LeadTek. Its reasonably priced (about $160 retail) and readily available in stores. However, it seems they are just pushing it as a short term video transcoding accelerator, with no planned roadmap.
It took them a while to get a Windows SDK out. It took them over a year to make Linux drivers available. The Linux drivers are binary only for a couple of specific RHEL Linux kernels, which are not up to date ones. LeadTek told me they have no intention to make 64 bit Linux drivers available at all. This doesn't sound like a product line with a bright future.
Your comparison is only reasonable for a very small number of tasks. A lot of tasks can extract a large percentage of the available FLOPS from a SpursEngine. Only a very few tasks have been able to use more than a tiny percentage of the available FLOPS on GPUs. Fermi is supposed to change that somewhat, but we will still have to wait and see. Right now many applications run substantially faster when they are not offloaded to the GPU.
The LeadTek card is half the price you quoted. Are you being ripped off? :-\
Yellow Dog ! Need I say More
Again i m not satisfied unless i can hook two cpu s and get atleast 60 % performance increase in any application including Os s
Man if Only those Old Baldies, can Fund My Idea I can make Intel latest processors look like a Kfc
Without Software (*Mathematical Breakthrough*) Hardware Advances are Irrelevant , Impossible