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

From: Newell Jensen
Subject: Re: [Discuss-gnuradio] PS3/Cell BE platform
Date: Thu, 16 Nov 2006 23:49:09 +0000

Yes and no. From casual observation (I don't have a ppc platform currently), all of gnuradio's dependencies already run on most linux ppc and ppc64 distributions. So getting it up and running shouldn't be too difficult.

The fun part will be modding GnuRadio and its dependencies to take advantage of the SPEs. So, even though there is a libfft (for example) running on ppc/ppc64, it doesn't take advantage of the SPEs. To do so is a bit more involved than just swapping out some math instructions/functions. It involves, from preliminary review, wrapping the chunk of code you want on the SPE in an spu_thread, shipping data in and out via DMA, minimizing ooo (out of order, ie branchy) code, then reworking the algorithm to take advantage of the SIMD (single instruction, multiple data) instruction set. Once that's done, recompile it with IBM's modified GNU toolchain, and watch it crash. :)



Thanks for the info, it helped. From what I have read it seems like SP3 is the only way to currently get a hold of the Cell BE, without having to buy an expensive workstation or server, right? I am just curious because I am looking to get a new computer soon that I will be using for graduate school working on SDR (As of now, I am looking to work on GPR and possible improvements of this), and from the reading I have done it seems like this would be a great architecture for SDR. Curious if you knew if they were going to offer this chipset for desktops or what your opinion about switching to that platform was?


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