Cell processor 'impressive', but not an Intel killer

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IBM's recently unveiled Cell processor is expected to have a major impact on the video game market, reports analysts In-Stat.

The goal of Cell developers was to create a new architecture that could process the next generation of broadband media and graphics with greater efficiency than the traditional approaches. These include ultradeep pipelines and the ganging of numerous complex and power-inefficient, out-of-order RISC or CISC cores, the research firm says.

The chip will be a major part of Sony's Next Generation Game Console, and may have other applications, but is unlikely to encroach dramatically on Intel's territory.

"Some have called Cell an Intel killer, which is completely ridiculous," says Kevin Krewell, In-Stat analyst. "The only place where the Cell processor can be considered competition for Intel will be where the Sony Next Generation Game Console competes with the Media Centre PC."

In-Stat also forecasts the total combined PlayStation 3, Xbox 2 and Revolution revenue forecast will rise from US$1.1 billion ($1.4 billion) in 2005 to 9.4 billion (12.2 billion) in 2008. Overall, Sony will remain the market leader in the next generation of consoles with its release of the PlayStation3. In-Stat expects both Microsoft and Nintendo to close the gap and release next generation consoles of their own.