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developerWorks: Program the Synergistic Processing Elements of the Sony PLAYSTATION 3

Feb 13, 2007, 05:30 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jonathan Bartlett)

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"The previous article in this series gave an overview of the Cell Broadband Engine (Cell BE) processor. (For other overviews, see Resources at the end of this article.) Part 2 begins an in-depth discussion of the Cell BE chip's SPEs. (For an in-depth discussion about programming the Power processing element (PPE), see the Assembly language for Power Architecture series on the developerWorks Linux zone.) Because the SPEs use such a different architecture, it's helpful to look at them in assembly language to get the full feel for what is happening. Later, I will show you how to program them in C, but assembly language gives a better view of the distinctiveness of the processor. Then, when moving to C, you will understand how different coding decisions might affect performance. This article focuses on the basic syntax and usage of SPE assembly language, and the ABI (the application binary interface, or the function calling conventions of the platform). The next two articles will explore communication between the SPE and the PPE and how to use the unique features of the SPE's assembly language to optimize your code..."

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