Creative launches new "stemcell" processor

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Their word, not mine. Anyway, Creative Technology (yup, the SoundBlaster people) made an announcement at CES last week about the launch of their new line of silicon processors, the ZiiLABS ZMS-05.

The ZMS is a constellation of processors, with two ARM-926 cores and 48 processing elements called the media processing array (details courtesy New Mobile Computing). The processing elements adapt to accelerate whatever task the main cores have been given. Think Cell, ClearSpeed, any theoretical FPGA construct, and Convey Computers.

By the way, the adaptivity part is the stemcell tie in — stemcells are the precursors that go on to specialize into kidney cells, brain cells, or whatever cell is needed at a given time in the development of an organism.

The company asserts that the ZMS chips can be connected into dramtically powerful configurations

The scalability of the ZMS architecture is highlighted in the first Teraflop Accelerator with the footprint of an A4-sized sheet of paper, consuming less power than a desktop PC. By utilizing the virtually unlimited chaining capability of the ZMS chips, a state-of-the- art ‘hypercomputer’ with many Petaflops of processing power can be realized, which can be 100 times smaller, 100 times greener and 100 times lower cost than conventional super computers.

Sadly, I know that the actress playing Tinkerbell is going to show up at the next performance whether I clap or not, and this kind of hype just irritates me. Let’s get some prototypes out there and give it a spin before we get all dewey eyed.

But, it doesn’t have to be all lights and makeup. We shouldn’t forget that the Cell processor was originally developed for media applications, and it has found some application in HPC. Will be interesting to follow Creative, Zii, and its new chip.


  1. Well, sounds like they’re making the same mistake as Cell. The Cell’s biggest problem is it’s completely lobotomized PPU core. 48 accelerators is a good idea (the more the merrier), but you really do need a capable CPU to run IO and memory management.

    Are two ARM cores going to work better than 1 stripped out G5?