IBM is back at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) for the first time in a decade. One of things they’ll be talking is the IBM/Sony/Toshiba collaboration on the Cell processor (shorthand for Cell Broadband Engine Architecture, more info at Wikipedia).
This matters because of the potential of the Cell’s vector architecture to be applied to HPC. One thing that could drive this technology into our market is commodity pricing driven by volume in the processor’s target consumer markets. After all, that’s how we all ended up with Xeons and Opterons in our boxes.
IBM’s presence at the major consumer electronics show is necessary (but not sufficient) if the processor is going to be adopted broadly enough to allow it to reach commodity status.