os that rather uses the gpu?

Florin Andrei florin at andrei.myip.org
Wed Jul 14 20:24:35 UTC 2010

On 07/14/2010 12:45 PM, Florin Andrei wrote:
> Some people say the CPUs and GPUs are on a merging path and the future
> will bring us hybrid processors that do complex things (like a CPU)
> really fast (like a GPU), see a few examples:

Also, how could I forget? The Cell processor, the one that powers the 
PlayStation 3 consoles.


It's a dual-threaded IBM PowerPC core, surrounded by eight special 
processing units that look more similar to a GPU than to a CPU, even 
though they are different from a regular GPU. So, strictly speaking, it 
is not a CPU/GPU hybrid, but for many practical purposes and from a very 
high level perspective it behaves and looks like one.

In practical terms, this is like a regular CPU with some "GPU-like" 
capabilities. Folding at home's PS3 client shows that pretty clearly - the 
type of the work units designated for this client, and the performance 
delivered are basically in between a plain CPU and a plain GPU setup.


Note: To make it clear, Cell is *not* a CPU/GPU hybrid. The PS3 still 
has a dedicated GPU, the RSX, which is like a GeForce 7800 on steroids.


Florin Andrei

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