The real centerpiece for the PS3, however, is its processor - the Cell Broadband Engine chip (often called the Cell BE chip). The Cell BE architecture is a radical departure from traditional processor designs. The Cell BE processor is a chip consisting of nine processing elements (note the PS3 has one of them disabled, and one of them reserved for system use, leaving seven processing units at your disposal). The main processing element is a fairly standard general-purpose processor. It is a dual-core PowerPC®-based element, called the Power Processing Element, or PPE for short. The other eight processing elements, however, are a different story.
The other processing elements within the Cell BE are known as Synergistic Processing Elements, or SPEs. Each SPE consists of:
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It amuses me that the world has reached a level of corporate wealth and/or our silicon engineering is so easy now that any random major corporation can conceptualize and produce CPUs to whatever specs please them. Complete with buzzword-compliant, acronym-laden names for the chip's subsystems.