Ashwini Nanda
Cell Blades:
IBM Cell Blade Prototype

The rapid deployment of high speed internet and consumer broadband technologies, the creation and popularity of rich media content, and the proliferation of open source infrastructure have enabled a new breed of streaming and interactive media applications that wouldn't have been possible a few years ago. This new breed of applications encompass a wide variety of existing as well as emerging areas such as games, streaming media, medical imaging, video surveillance, 3D and real time rendering, collaborative engineering design, virtual worlds and military simulation, among others. These applications demand a large amount of numeric intensive and streaming oriented compute power that is traditionally associated with expensive high end supercomputers which are often not easily affordable.

The IBM Cell Blades prototype building blocks are designed for flexible, commodity server architectures that could provide cost effective solutions to this class of digital media, streaming and supercomputing applications. The Cell Server and Cell Supercomputer architectures leverage four key, high volume and open system technologies, namely:

  • IBM Blade Center platform
  • The Cell Processor
  • Open System software, including Linux, and
  • Commodity high speed switches such as Infiniband and Ethernet
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