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Re: [Discuss-gnuradio] PS3/Cell BE platform

From: Robert McGwier
Subject: Re: [Discuss-gnuradio] PS3/Cell BE platform
Date: Thu, 16 Nov 2006 00:52:25 -0500
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20061025)

The Nividia GPU's have fft and blas running on them. They are doing teraflops and the tools/SDK are available under NDA. They do indeed have multiply , accumulate, etc.

We are going to have GnuRadio in good enough shape to "take over the world" when these high speed SDR engines (gaming tools that need DSP hardware) become widely and openly available and as consumer product based, they should be inexpensive. In my personal opinion, the SDR part is now relegated to the "mundane" and the most interesting work is now in AI/Cognitive work, classification, serious mesh networking, etc. that becomes more easily attainable with the high bandwidth channel back to the "front end" which is the completed SDR toolbox operating on these fancy DSP enabled processors with their huge bandwidth IO pipes.

The needs of the single-person-shooter games to render video on the fly rather than play through rastered and stored video has certainly been our friend. The "good old days" ARE NOW.


Marcus Leech wrote:
Jason wrote:

has anyone been looking at the Cell BE processor as a gnuradio backend platform?

For US$600 you get a Playstation 3 that boots linux, and has 7 128bit RISC processors, each with 256k local memory, all moving at ~3.4GHz. Each RISC processor is optimized for vector math / stream processing... :)

There is already an SDK (modified GNU toolchain) from IBM. It seems to use a standard toolchain and apps that run on a 64bit ppc, but the toolchain is modified to compile special threads (different exec type) for the RISC processors (called SPEs). threads are written in C against a provided library.

My thought for GnuRadio was to make near realtime mod/demod of ATSC a possibility. As well as speeding up most other stream processing.

The SDK and info are here [1]. The .iso seems to have everything needed, and the provided code examples aren't too much different from writing pthreads. The magic is in the added instruction set.

Good luck getting a hold of one before Christmas :)

Quite apart from the Cell processors, it also boasts dual GPUs, which are also good at doing multiply-accumulate.

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AMSAT Director and VP Engineering. Member: ARRL, AMSAT-DL,
"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat.
You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los
Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly
the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there.
The only difference is that there is no cat." - Einstein

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