Japan: Toshiba to Intro Cell-Chip Laptop

Toshiba announced the first computer laptop with HD-like capabilities to make use of the SpursEngine, a multimedia co-processor derived from the cell chip that powers the PlayStation 3 game console, will go on sale only in Japan in July. Its introduction in other world sectors was not yet announced.

Toshiba will unveil its PCs (Qosmio G50 and F40) with a chip that contains four “synergistic processing elements” from the Cell Broadband Engine processor. The so-called “cell chip” currently used in the PS3 has eight processing-element cores, as well as a main processor. The SPE cores perform the heavy number-crunching that makes the console’s graphics so stunning.

The SpursEngine processor (model SE1000) and an Intel Core Duo chip (which helps in achieving detailed graphics in PS3 for video games) will help extend video imaging to near-HD levels, according to Toshiba. The operating system will run on an Intel Core 2 Duo chip and the SpursEngine in order to upconvert SD content to HD (although no bona fide HD format can be achieved from original source content that is not HD to begin with).