One can hope but chances that $ony let's you use their "computer" they produce for 700? bucks and you can buy for 599 are slim i think. They already promised computer like experience with the PS2.
Indeed; Sony make a substantial loss on the Playstation 3. iSuppli actually did a good article on this (I don't usually trust them, they make a big business out of telling people how much they are being ripped off; but in this case Sony is giving you a good deal)
I am sure they will offer a bootable Linux so that people can do desktop stuff or maybe do some homebrew development on Cell; but substantial portions of the thing are going to be locked out, nVidia's graphics chip will have no decent drivers, good luck using any ports they put on that aren't already in the Cell Linux port. Adventurous people port Linux to things like the Nintendo DS and Gamecube; but they never get used for anything. The adventure is in the Linux porting process, and getting things to work, not browsing the web using your Gamecube or Playstation 2.
Sony WERE being quoted that they would have Linux as the primary OS on the machine (i.e. when you press "home" or so on the controller, it would be some GUI over a Linux kernel) but I am sure they have since denied that and are using something custom (they have their own OS and GUI system for the Playstation "PSX", PSP handheld and Playstation 3)
Back to cell card, 256/512 MB should be enough
This is the problem. How do you know that is enough? Or it could be WAY too much! With 512MB you have as much RAM as a Playstation 3, for example. If Sony think that is good enough to run a *FULL* game on, do you really need it for a Blender rendering module with a host machine with xGB of real RAM for other caching purposes?
It needs some thought! Anyone know anyone in the Cell team who can come here (or the partner thread on Power.org) and answer? :D
but i advocate a PCIe 16 interface. But the card should work in 2x an 4x mode also (in a 16x physical slot). Every "good" intel board has at least 2 times PCIe 16 slots. With time the PCIe lanes to them will grow...
I think a 16x slot can have as many lanes as the designer wants; any card plugged into it has to detect how many lanes are available and adapt as part of the standard. A 16x slot with only 1 lane connected will run any current graphics card just fine; slowly.
Some PCI Express motherboards now come with 8x and 4x connectors; the OSW certainly will have a 16x slot and an 8x slot. To meet the needs of speed and availability of boards to plug it in, 1x would be best but I think 4x is the easiest and most common one to say you could support and not lock out half your market. That gives a bandwidth of 2 Gigabytes per second (1GB each way) which I think is pretty darn good for host to card transfer of geometry, encoded or encrypted data. Anyone who has a board which has at least a 4x slot could buy a Cell add-in board. However we could say 8x is the minimum - if you have a high-end board you might have this (the OSW will) and things like Infiniband and very fancy disk controllers have 8x connectors.
I don't think forcing people to give up a 16x connector is very fair or friendly, and limits the market to people who have bought an SLI board (which the point is you put graphics cards in there - 16x is the graphics card slot, baby!)
Matt Sealey, Genesi USA Inc.
Product Development Analyst