Multi-core Cell chip gets SDK

IBM and Sony have released a software development kit to open up developer access to the Cell processor, destined for the PlayStation 3 and next-generation workstations. The goal is stimulate the growth of third-party applications for the Cell Broadband Engine Architecture (CBEA).

As well as software components and documentation for CBEA technology, the kit includes extensions to Linux that support Cell programming.

‘With this software and documentation, IBM, along with Sony Group and Toshiba, are providing the means to explore as yet undiscovered uses for the Cell Broadband Engine through developing value-add software applications,’ said IBM Fellow, Jim Kahle. ‘Our joint commitment to open and early access to these technologies will continue the growth of a robust programming community.”

The software includes simulators for the CBE Processor, samples and libraries of code and a prototype compiler, the IBM XL C Alpha Edition for the CBE Processor.

On the Linux side of things, as well as the source patches in Linux for CBEA, which include the runtime programming interfaces needed to manage the Cell’s ‘synergistic processing elements’ (SPEs), there is the CBE Linux Reference Implementation Application Binary Interface Specification V1.0, and gcc and binutils for the SPEs.

The software is available on IBM’s developer resource developerWorks.

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