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Over 400 engineers from the three companies worked together in Austin, with critical support from eleven of IBM's design centers.

During this period, IBM filed many patents pertaining to the Cell architecture, manufacturing process, and software environment.

On April 8, 2008, Fixstars Corporation released a PCI Express accelerator board based on the Power XCell 8i processor.

The Cell Broadband Engine, or Cell as it is more commonly known, is a microprocessor intended as a hybrid of conventional desktop processors (such as the Athlon 64, and Core 2 families) and more specialized high-performance processors, such as the NVIDIA and ATI graphics-processors (GPUs).

It was developed by Sony, Toshiba, and IBM, an alliance known as "STI".

The architectural design and first implementation were carried out at the STI Design Center in Austin, Texas over a four-year period beginning March 2001 on a budget reported by Sony as approaching US0 million.

However, Cell's strengths may make it useful for scientific computing regardless of its mainstream success.

The first major commercial application of Cell was in Sony's Play Station 3 game console.

The PPE core is dual threaded and manifests in software as two independent threads of execution while each active SPE manifests as a single thread.

In the Play Station 3 configuration as described by Sony, the Cell processor provides nine independent threads of execution.

Exotic features such as the XDR memory subsystem and coherent Element Interconnect Bus (EIB) interconnect appear to position Cell for future applications in the supercomputing space to exploit the Cell processor's prowess in floating point kernels.

The Cell architecture includes a memory coherence architecture that emphasizes power efficiency, prioritizes bandwidth over low latency, and favors peak computational throughput over simplicity of program code.

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