The Cell chip should be useful for accelerating many if not most mathematically intensive applications such as:
Finite Element analysis - FEA
Computational Fluid Dynamics CFD
Computer aided drawing and design CAD
Computer Aided Manufacturing CAM
These applications are generally now available for PC\'s. The problem is any reasonable sized problem takes hours and days of computing time to get any useable results. This limits the market, which drives up the cost. Commercial software packages, which can do some or all of the above typically, cost $50,000 for a single seat. Some efforts to use some of these packages with Clusters of PC\'s have been successful. Clusters are expensive to set up and complex to administer.
A low cost TFLOP Card will break this cycle and allow every engineer, scientist, and designer to have massive computer assist.
We will keep two waiting lists.
-- Software developers who want to port their applications to the TFLOP card
-- End users who want to use the card to solve problems
The first cards will go to Developers. This site will attempt to track progress on cell software.
This site does not plan to support any end user software but we will point you to all applications we find out about. Applications may be commercial or open source.
We do plan to support software development with compilers, assemblers, debug, tracing, profiling, and drivers. All the tools developers will need to make The TFLOP card do something.
We will open source all development tools and try to provide best possible documentation. Anyone with a TFLOP card is welcome to write applications or join an open source project
We may need to charge for development support if people need to come up to speed quickly. One of the things we will try to do is define a standard development environment, which we use internally. The development environment will include all hardware and software in the development system along with simple sample programs, which can be used to learn from or as starting points for real applications.
Sony may not like this but a TFLOP card will turn a PC into a game machine if developers write games for it.
I think the real potential for the TFLOP card goes beyond modeling and simulation into real artificial intelligence. We will see.