Skip to main content

STI cell processor

New Disclosures to Jumpstart Creation of Cell-based Applications Beyond Gaming

chip worker and disk

IBM, Sony and Toshiba release key documents describing fresh technical details of the revolutionary Cell Broadband Engine architecture.

Get the latest details on the Cell Broadband Engine Architecture
Visit: Cell processor technical details unveiled

Learn more about the IBM Research, related special project
Visit: Compiler technology for scalable architectures

The Vision
Breakthrough microprocessor architecture that puts broadband communications right on the chip.


STI cell processor defined
Just as the cells in a body unite to form complete physical systems, a "Cell" architecture will allow all kinds of electronic devices (from consumer products to supercomputers) to work together, signaling a new era in Internet entertainment, communications and collaboration.

In March 2001, Sony and Toshiba and IBM (STI) announced that they had teamed up to design an architecture for what is termed a system-on-a-chip (SoC) design. Code-named Cell, chips based on the architecture will be able to use ultra high-speed broadband connectivity to interoperate with one another as one complete system, similar to the way neural cells interoperate over the brain's network.

Learn more: Introduction to the Cell multiprocessor , published by the IBM Journal of Research and Development.

Market demand for STI cell processor
IBM expects Cell to define an entirely new way of operating. Cell's underlying architecture will enable it to manifest itself into many forms for many purposes, helping to open up a whole new set of applications. Incorporating this architecture, chips will be developed for everything from handheld devices to mainframe computers.

IBM strategy with STI cell processor
IBM has an unmatched history and capability of building custom chips and believes the one-size-fits-all model of the PC does not apply in the embedded space; embedded applications will require a flexible architecture, like Cell. Cell also brings together, for the first time, many leading-edge IBM chip technologies and circuit designs developed for its servers.

By opening up a wide set of technical specifications to software developers, business partners, academic and research organizations, and potential customers, IBM, Sony and Toshiba continue their work to aggressively stimulate the creation of Cell-based applications.  Consistent with IBM's open source strategy, the goal is to establish a thriving community of interest and innovation around Cell, allowing all interested parties to rapidly evaluate and utilize Cell technology.

In June of this year, in Barcelona, Spain, IBM announced eleven new members of – an organization dedicated to accelerating collaborative innovation on the Power Architecture microprocessor technology.

STI cell processor benefits
Cell will take advantage of IBM's most advanced semiconductor development and process technologies. These cells will deliver high performance while consuming small quantities of power.


Content navigation