his is all speculation from me, I learnt more off PC Watch site then I know officially, so don’t expect any revelations…
PC Watch have a report on the PS3 press thing (In Japanese) http://pc.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/2005/0722/kaigai199.htm
The jist of it, is it seem to show a CEB-2030 (CEB = Cell Evaluation Board) with 512XDR Ram and a G70 and the we will get PS3 Tool in December with hard disk, Bluray and RSX.
Now you can be certain that the things they are showing are slightly ahead of where we are in the dev community. But it gives you a good idea of what we are dealing with and the time lines we have to work with.
The most interesting thing to me, is that the tool looks like a 1U Rack mount. This really intrigues me, because for a dev kit it makes no difference, its not like I have a rack on my desk, so why bother? The answer makes more sense if the tool is also for something else as well… So what where would a rack of tools be useful? Most server apps are going to just want Cells and not RSXs (which would just be an expensive power-drain for most server applications), which IBM have already shown.
Now there is one application that could use an RSX and a Cell and benefit from a rack full of the things. NVIDIA Gelato. Gelato is a renderman complaint renderer that uses NVIDIA GPUs to accelerate some parts of the off-line graphics pipeline. This seems an ideal app for Cell, currently Gelato uses the GPU when it can and falls back to the CPU in other cases, with a Cell based Gelato machine there is a more complex hierarchy. GPU - very parallel operations (shading, shadow maps etc.) SPU - more general, with small memory requirements(tessellation, etc.) PPU - Completely general (anything else).
The link between RSX and Cell would also be very useful compared to normal PC at this work. An example would be shadow-maps, while RSX generates the multiple shadow maps (for Wu shadow maps), they could be fed back to SPU for complex filtering before being send back to the GPU to be used. At the same time, another SPU could be tessellating and displacing an object and the PPU is managing the huge data-set and doing complex stuff.