Making Airplanes Safer with Cell Processor

July 10, 2008

Sony Group, Toshiba and IBM Renew Cell Broadband Engine™ Center of Competence with Georgia Tech

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - JULY 9, 2008 – The Georgia Tech College of Computing
today announced the renewal of the Sony Corporation/Sony Computer
Entertainment Inc. (Sony Group)-Toshiba-IBM Center of Competence (STI
Center), based on Georgia Tech’s exceptional work in multiple areas of
research and evangelism for the Cell Broadband Engine™ (Cell/B.E.)
technology. Through Georgia Tech’s efforts, the STI Center has been
responsible for creating and disseminating software optimized for
Cell/B.E. systems, and for performing research on the design of
Cell/B.E. systems, algorithms and applications. In conjunction with
this renewal of the STI Center, Georgia Tech is announcing a series of
new research projects that are being undertaken at the center to
develop applications and productivity tools based on the Cell/B.E.

Georgia Tech also announced today that it will host the Second Annual
Cell/B.E. Processor Workshop from July 10-11, 2008, focusing on
software, tools and applications for the Cell/B.E. processor, including
high performance computing applications and programmability tools. The
two-day workshop is sponsored by Sony Group, Toshiba and IBM and will
be held at the Klaus Advanced Computing Building on Georgia Tech’s
campus. More information on the workshop may be found at

The STI Center of Competence was created at Georgia Tech to test the
boundaries and demonstrate the extreme performance of the Cell/B.E.
architecture. “Today, we are carrying out the vision we always intended
- to generate breakthrough innovations using Cell/B.E. technologies
working hand-in-hand with researchers at Sony Group, Toshiba and IBM,”
said David A. Bader, professor and executive director of
High-Performance Computing in the Georgia Tech College of Computing.
“We are very encouraged that our initial research results are showing
the multi-faceted applicability of this technology.”

One of the key research challenges that the collaborators will address
through continued applied research is the use of Cell/B.E. technology
to better monitor an aircraft’s structural safety in commercial and
military airplanes. Researchers will develop Cell/B.E. based
data-processing software that will expeditiously and accurately monitor
structural components in flight by measuring and recording an
aircraft’s vibrations through a distributed network of sensors.
Although a commercial signal processing application for airplanes is a
long term plan, researchers are working to develop a solid software
foundation in the labs.

“IBM has invested in a strategy that applies the use of technology to
solve grand challenges with our trusted university partners,” said Jai
Menon, IBM Fellow, vice president, Technical Strategy and University
Relations. “In our collaboration with Georgia Tech, we are working
together to better predict airline mechanical failures to make flying
in airlines safer for passengers like you and me.”

The other joint research projects in productivity enhancements include:

•    A useful signal processing kernel needed for oil and gas exploration and seismic monitoring;

•    Data compression, used for file compression or reducing the size
of messages sent between computers required in multiple industries;

•    Financial services applications for consolidated debt optimization, as well as European and American options pricing;

•    Encryption libraries for securing communications for privacy;

•    High-speed multimedia codecs, such as MPEG2 and JPEG2000 encoders and decoders;

•    Bioinformatics, such as DNA sequence alignment and comparison;

•    Software productivity enhancement tools that involve a
cross-platform profiler, performance estimation and tuning system with
IDE type features;

•    Single-source automatic translator for generating PPU and SPU codes from a monolithic C/C++ application.

“We anticipate a paradigm shift in computing and our collaboration with
the Georgia Tech College of Computing will create innovative
applications for Cell/B.E. processors," said Yasu Yokote, general
manager, CELL Application Development Center, Sony Corporation. "For a
year STI Center created at Georgia Tech, they created software
productivity enhancement tools, which are valuable for moving legacy
code bases to CELL/B.E. and will generate tremendous value to all
Cell-based products."

"Within a year of the opening of the Center of Competence at Georgia
Tech, researchers are already generating outstanding results on
Cell/B.E.,” said Mitsuo Saito, Chief Fellow, Toshiba Corporation
Semiconductor Company. "The future will see growing demand for
multi-core processor applications, and we are delighted that the Center
is playing a key role in anticipating and responding to such demand."

About the Georgia Tech College of Computing

The Georgia Tech College of Computing is a national leader in the
research and creation of real-world computing breakthroughs that drive
social and scientific progress. With its graduate program ranked 9th
nationally by U.S. News and World Report, the College’s unconventional
approach to education is pioneering the new era of computing by
expanding the horizons of traditional computer science students through
interdisciplinary collaboration and a focus on human centered
solutions. For more information about the College of Computing, its
academic divisions and research centers, please visit

About the Cell Broadband Engine

The revolutionary Cell/B.E. processor is a breakthrough design
featuring a central processing core, based on IBM's industry leading
Power Architecture™ technology, and eight synergistic processors. 
Cell/B.E. "supercharges" computation-intensive applications, offering
fast performance for computer entertainment and handhelds,
virtual-reality, wireless downloads, real-time video chat, interactive
TV shows and other "image-hungry" computing environments. The processor
was created through a collaboration between Sony Group, Toshiba
Corporation (Toshiba) and IBM,

All company/product names and service marks may be trademarks or
registered trademarks of their respective companies.  Cell Broadband
Engine is a trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.

For more information, contact:

Stefany Wilson

Georgia Tech College of Computing


stefany [at] cc [dot] gatech [dot] edu