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Dev tool simplifies multiprocessing on Cell BE, PS3

Jan 12, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 2 views

RapidMind will soon add Cell Broadband Engine (BE) support to its C++ development tool. The RapidMind Development Platform v2.0 will help developers exploit the Cell BE's parallel architecture, whether targeting PlayStation3 (PS3) games, or Linux applications for the PS3 or other Cell-based hardware platforms,… the company says.

The RapidMind Development Platform comprises a collection of binary libraries that programmers writing or porting C++ applications can link to. The libraries add several data types and operations useful when describing problems, according to VP of Marketing Matthew Monteyne.

Developers can use their existing compiler and IDE with the RapidMind Platform, enabling them to target any OS that runs on supported processors. In addition to the Cell, the Platform supports “all recent GPUs (graphics processor units) from Nvidia and ATI,” Monteyne said, as well as several multi-core processors.

The RapidMind Platform has thus far seen most of its use in the high-performance computing market, as well as in digital media applications such as real-time video processing, oil and gas exploration, and financial services, according to Monteyne.

RapidMind announced it would add Cell support last summer, when it launched the first v2.0 beta. In addition to Sony's Playstation 3, the RapidMind Platform v2.0 will support IBM's Cell-based BladeCenter QS20, and Mercury's Cell-based chassis systems and add-in cards.

CEO Ray DePaul stated, “Developers are eager to take advantage of the Cell BE and the PlayStation 3 without the need to understand the underlying architecture.”

The Sony/IBM/Toshiba Cell BE is based on a PowerPC core clocked up to 4GHz, and also integrates multiple vector units dubbed “Synergistic Processing Engines” (SPEs) — the Cell used in Sony's PS3 has seven SPEs.


RapidMind Development Platform v2.0 is about to enter its third beta testing release. Once generally available, a trial version will be bundled with Terra Soft's Yellow Dog Linux release for the PS3.

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