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Toshiba Cell Broadband Video Processor

by January 14, 2008
Cell Broadband Engine Demos

Cell Broadband Engine Demos

Toshiba showed off a lot of their new display products for us at the 2008 CES, but the one technological development that stood out was their use of the Cell Broadband Engine (yes the same processor found in the Sony PS3). They had a rather sophisticated demo involving both standard definition and high-definition content which utilized the Cell Broadband Engine to sharpen images with uncanny ability.

The technology demonstrations at CES featured real-time image super-resolution that literally transformed SD images into HD. They also have the capability to perform multi-decoding, the simultaneous playback of multiple videos that can bring up to 48 moving images to the screen.

cell-demo-1.jpg
Look at the detail in the bottle and background


cell-demo-2.jpg
We were impressed by the hair detail as well as the shirt detail "grown" by the cell broadband engine.

Some quick Cell Braodband Engine specs/info:

  • 1 x Power Processor Element (PPE)
  • 8 x Synergistic Processor Element (SPE)
  • 32bit x 2ch XDR DRAM channels

Super Companion Chip Features:

  • Video, audio, IEEE 1394 and digital tuner AV system interfaces
  • Standard bus, High speed network and storage device Standard I/O interfaces

It's always been said by us that you cannot take standard definition, upconvert it to HD and expect the same results as if you had an actual HD source. With that said, the cell processor technique demoed by Toshiba - in real-time so as to not be mistaken for a parlor trick - came pretty darn close. Detail popped and edges cleared up without the typical artifacts you'd expect. We did notice some jaggy artifacts on some of the material, but overall this is a technology that is extremely promising. We're hoping it debuts sometime by 2009, but there was no specific release information given from Toshiba on the official timeline.

Some additional technology releases by Toshiba included REGZA LINK (HDMI-CEC) which offers simple operation of multiple digital products connected via HDMI cables. For example a TV, HD DVD player and PC can all be operated by one TV remote controller, and any content stored in a connected PC can be listed, selected and played back on a TV. The next generation achieves all this, but without wires. Toshiba demonstrated REGZA LINK at the 2008 CES which was based on WirelessHD technology. WirelessHD is wireless transmission of uncompressed HD video and audio data at speeds as high as 4Gbps in the millimeter waveband, almost without delay, allowing total freedom when positioning devices in a room. Toshiba is a promoter company of the WirelessHD consortium. Hopefully they will have some better luck at this technology.

 

About the author:
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Clint Deboer was terminated from Audioholics for misconduct on April 4th, 2014. He no longer represents Audioholics in any fashion.

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Recent Forum Posts:

Seth=L posts on January 14, 2008 16:14
To make the un-HD into HD is sounds like a foolish proposition, but we can only hope it isn't.
alexsound posts on January 14, 2008 12:09
admin, post: 357426
Toshiba showed off a lot of their new display products for us at the 2008 CES, but the one technological development that stood out was their use of the Cell Broadband Engine (yes the same processor found in the Sony PS3). They had a rather sophisticated demo involving both standard definition and high-definition content which utilized the Cell Broadband Engine to sharpen images with uncanny ability.


Discuss “Toshiba Cell Broadband Video Processor” here. Read the article.

If I'm not mistaken, the Cell processor was jointly developed by IBM, Sony and Toshiba. Go figure, at least on the last two.
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