How will the Cell processor change the world?
I am an optimist about the world and the future of humans.
Price performance of CPU\'s does not only allow existing applications run better and faster, it will allow new classes of applications. Much the same way as higher power to weight ratio engine allowed Wright Bros to fly.
The US has about 1 million manufacturing companies so there are at least 5 million manufacturing companies in the world. That means there are at least 10 million scientists, engineers, and designers. Each one of these people needs their own supercomputer just like they need a PC. Ideally they would each have a complete CAD design environment with simulation and modeling tools. System should include FEA, CFD, Multiphysics, Molecular modeling (CAE).
I figure that software should require about 2 million lines of code at say $50 /line = $100 M which is only $10 / customer. Open source could deliver such software for even less cost
I figure the PCI-X card should cost about $200 to build - sell it for $400 plus $100 for CAD/CAM/CAE = $500 selling price. Use the installed base of X86 PC\'s as the workstation.
Once such PC / Cell supercomputer workstations start to become widespread, they will foster accelerated product development.
The cell will be fast enough and enough people will have them that whole new classes of applications will develop. Artificial intelligence and advanced robotics come to mind.