[CEATEC] Toshiba Unveils 2nd-generation Reference Platform for Cell Microprocessor with Air Cooling System

Oct 4, 2007
Tomonori Shindou, Nikkei Electronics
The CRS2 is about the size of a large desktop personal computer.
The CRS2 is about the size of a large desktop personal computer.
[Click to enlarge image]

Toshiba Corp. exhibited Cell Reference Set 2 (CRS2), the latest version of reference hardware platform for the development of Cell-based devices at CEATEC Japan 2007.

The first-generation Cell Reference Set exhibited by the company at CEATEC 2005 had the size equivalent to that of a large workstation. In contrast, the size of CRS2 is reduced to as small as that of a desktop personal computer.

With the adoption of the Cell microprocessor based on the 65-nm production technology, Toshiba succeeded in reducing the power consumption as well as slashing the sizes of supply circuit and cooling system. In contrast to the first-generation CRS that uses a liquid cooling system, the latest version is equipped with an air cooling system.

The main memory capacity was doubled from the first-generation's 512MB to 1GB. Furthermore, unlike the existing platform where the XDR memory LSI for the main memory is directly mounted on the mainboard, CRS2 is provided with a DIMM slot into which the XDR memory is inserted.

In the existing platform, a separate board called system controller needs to be inserted into the PCI slot to control the voltage. CRS2, however, is equipped with the equivalent function directly mounted on the mainboard. As a result, another open PCI slot became available. In addition, the mainboard is provided with Super Companion Chip, Toshiba's proprietary bridge LSI for Cell.

The interfaces include PCI, PCI Express, HDMI, AV interface, Gb Ethernet and USB. A terrestrial digital TV tuner, etc. are connected via the AV interface.

The liquid cooling system was replaced by the air cooling system.
The liquid cooling system was replaced by the air cooling system.
[Click to enlarge image]
Instead of directly mounting the XDM memory on the mainboard, it is inserted into a DIMM slot.
Instead of directly mounting the XDM memory on the mainboard, it is inserted into a DIMM slot.
[Click to enlarge image]
The RS2 mainboard
The RS2 mainboard
[Click to enlarge image]