Rumors are circulating today about the death of IBM's Cell processor, which powers Sony's PlayStation 3. Kotaku spoke to IBM about the fate of the Cell and its commitment to the PlayStation 3.
The rumor sprang from an article on German website Heise Online, which posted a story about an interview with IBM's vice president of deep computing, David Turek, in which he indicated that the development of the next version of the Cell processor with dual PowerPC processors and 32 SPEs (Synergistic Processing Elements) had been halted. This led to many articles declaring the Cell processor dead.
Our immediate concern upon reading this, was the fate of the Sony PlayStation 3, so we dropped a line to IBM. Spokesperson Ron Favali returned our call and immediately assured us the PlayStation 3 was safe.
"As long as we have a contract with Sony we will continue to manufacture Cell processors for use in the Sony PlayStation."
Update: We also inquired at Sony, and received this response from Julia Han of SCEA corporate communications: "The IBM reports do not have anything to do with the cell chip used in the PS3. There will be no impact to the PS3 business."
So don't worry about Sony running out of chips anytime soon. IBM has them covered. As for the fate of the Cell processor technology? Well that will live on as well says Turek, as "the core technology of the Cell processor will continue to proliferate throughout the IBM product line."
Turek wouldn't comment on upcoming product announcements regarding the future of the Cell.