Sunday, December 2, 2007

SPU-Medialib has Cell/PS3 optimized programs to accelerate media related content

Looks like a project called spu-medialib has a collection of media library code optimized for the Cell processor. This should allow MythTV to make full use of the Cell SPU units (the power behind the PS3).

Link is

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Gemmell spots someone succesfully running MythTV on the PS3

Thanks to gemmell for this link:

It appears someone has classic MythTV running on the PS3. It will be interesting to see if they get reliable HD decoding with out using the cell processors. Or, perhaps they found a port of the libmpeg for the cell.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Need Help .. What else should be posted?

Since there doesn't appear to be much work on porting mpeg libraries to the cell processor in Linux (to make use of the massive parallel processors) ... What else should I write about?

Have a good post or link you want to see here? Just post it as a comment and I will add the really good ones as new posts.


Monday, June 11, 2007

Sony has launched and "Official" PS Blog

It appears to cover the entire "Play Station family"

Thursday, May 24, 2007

A bunch of links about Compiling code for the PS3 / Cell

Haven't had much time to go through these yet .. but I wanted to make sure they got captured.
Here are some pages that have links to either compilers, compiler extensions or SDKs for the PS3 or Cell processor.

Linux devices -
Sony Computer -
Game Tomorrow -

StreamIt - Not to be out done .. MIT has a new language focused on Multicore computing

As MIT puts it StreamIt
"is a programming language and a compilation infrastructure, specifically engineered for modern streaming systems. It is designed to facilitate the programming of large streaming applications ..."

Technology Review has a good summary at

IBM Octopiler -- A new compiler aid to port to Cell processing?

It appears IBM has a new aid to help develop more applications that make use of the Cell processor.

From the following link:
"Our aim is to automatically generate high quality code taking advantage of the wide range of heterogeneous parallelism for Scale-Up and Scale-Out architectures. We propose "single source" compiler solutions for heterogeneous memory and computational subsystems using automatically-partitioned code and data, as well as software-managed cache for irregular data accesses. We exploit parallelism at all levels, including data and task level parallelism as well as SIMD parallelism."

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Slashdot reports: 250,000 PS3s Folding@Home

Slashdot has an interesting post about how the PS3 has helped Folding@home reach 250,000 users with over 700 terraflops of processing power. Pardon me while I pick my jaw up off the floor .... wow .. thats a lot of processing power.

Check it out at

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Shameless PS3 Promotion Video

Sorry for the shameless promotion video .. but I LOVE how the PR guy describes the unique quality of the PS3 .. and wacthing the rain drop demo is pretty cool too!

.. this one is pretty good too.

More PS3 videos ... All In English this time!

Ran across this nice (lots of interesting video to keep you interested in watching it :) ) video
of upgrading the PS3 to a 100GB hard drive ..then installing Yellow Dog linux on it.

I ran across 2 english Videos showing Fedora Core 5 running on the PS3 .. now if I can find a "how-to install" video ...

And .. a "1TB PS3 ... "(he cheated and used an external USB drive .. but hey .. give him credit for originality)

Friday, March 23, 2007

Folding@Home on the PS3

Check out the stats for the PS3 doing the Folding@Home project. Wow ..

This is what I saw at 2:30pm on March 23, 2007
OS Type Current TFLOPS* Active CPUs Total CPUs
Windows 1511591981624934
Mac OS X/PowerPC 7871695341
Mac OS X/Intel 827167216
Linux 4224971215703
GPU 417002188
PLAYSTATION®3 3671497115914
Total 616211272 1961296

Riding The Multi-core Revolution Demo

Here is a long .. but very interesting presentation called "Riding the Multi-core Revolution Demo"
It discusses the trends of Parallel processing .. and multi core computing and the effects on software development.

Covered in the demo is a discussion of GPU use for specialized software computation (other than graphics)
It also mentions IBM's Cell processor use of specialized multi-cores .. talking about how to write scalable programs to make use of it.

about 32 mins into the Demo .. is the "16,000" chicken demo referenced earlier in the blog.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Reduce your memory footprint: IBM article

While reading "Geek Patrol" I ran across this relevant link titled "How to reduce your memory footprint"

Geek Patrol Performance: PS3 vs. Mac G5

The "Geek Patrol" website has a pretty interesting comparison between the Mac G5 and the PS3.

Keep in mind .. the PS3 is not running with any "cell" optimizations .. so its really a good benchmark to see how the "stripped down" power pc in the PS3 compares to a Mac version.

Monday, February 5, 2007

48 Simultaneous SDTV streams decoded by Cell Processor

Finally found a reference to an old (2005) trade show demonstration .. where the cell processor decoded 48 SDTV MPEG-2 streams simultaneously! No I don't think this was done on a PS3 .. but it shows the power of the cell processor. HDTV is roughly 4 SDTV streams ... so you could infer 12 HDTV streams (maybe 10 to be safe) ... now thats PIP!

From the article:
"Toshiba demonstrated that its Cell microprocessor, jointly developed with the Sony Group and IBM Corp., can simultaneously decode 48 SDTV format MPEG-2 streams. At the COOL Chips VIII event held in Yokohama from April 20 to 22, 2005, the company showed a film demonstrating the decoding process"

Here is the article link:

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Linux Kernel 2.6.20 to add Playstation 3 support

It appears the 2.6.20 version of the Linux kernel about to be release will include a lot of PS3 enhancements.

According to this page the changes are made by Sony engineers.

Found from a this Slashdot post.
Here is a softpedia article on it.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Ah .. The power of cells

Found this great post off Slashdot.

Down in the article they talk about a new Petaflop supercomputer that IBM is building..
Read this quote and ask "Does this architecture sound familiar?"

"Roadrunner is the first rendering of a hybrid computing architecture: multiple heterogeneous cores with a multitier memory hierarchy. It's also built entirely out of commodity parts: AMD Opteron-based servers, Cell BE-based accelerators and Infiniband interconnect. Standard processing (e.g., file system I/O) will be handled by Opteron processors, while more mathematically and CPU-intensive elements will be directed to the Cell BE processors."

Did you catch the pool of cell processors directed by a master (and separate standard) processor?

I guess that makes the PS3 a "proof of concept" super-computer.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

"How Stuff Works" on the PS3

Found a nice page on how the PS3 works at "How Stuff Works".

It has some nice pictures of the processor itself, with neat eye candy when discussing the PS3 GPU RSX "Reality Synthesize". You should check it out .. if nothing else but to seen the impressive graphics.

Keep in mind that until Sony or a third party creates libraries optimized for the cell (and drivers for the GPU) ... the Linux side of life won't be all that impressive. This is why I believe the currently working MythTV frontends on PS3 are a little slow / choppy. Frame buffering .. although useful as an easy first port .. is hardly efficient.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

USB TV Tuner + PS3 + MythTV

Red Marine gave me another great link

Quoted Text from PS3.QJ.NET

"It was only a matter of time before someone tried a USB TV Tuner and successfully put together a working set of drivers for it. And that someone would be Takeshi Yaegashi who has been successful in patching the Plextor ConvertX PX-M402U's Linux drivers to work properly on the PS3. The problem was that the original GO7007 Video4Linux2 drivers didn't run properly on a 32bit userland/64bit kernel environment.

The released patches will patch the GO7007 Video4Linux2 drivers and the Addon CD to improve compatibility with the said environment, which is common on all PS3 Linux distros. What you'll have to do is patch the drivers, then patch the Addon CD file and finally compile the kernel given in the Addon CD. If this sounds a bit difficult, you can wait for distros to appear with this patches built in.

I would expect Gentoo to be the first with the patches, seeing how they're already thinking of including MythTV on the Gentoo Live CD. If you do understand the consequences and want to go ahead with this, download the patches, the new Addon CD, patch both of them, and then use the new customised kernel with your distro. Expect a thorough how-to soon!"

Monday, January 8, 2007

One sighting of a user that has MythTV front+backend on PS3

MythTv's Wiki has a comment in the "Choosing Frontend Hardware" section that says that MythTV 0.20 does work on PS3 (frontend and backend).

However there is a catch ... you have to run the video in frame buffer mode .. apparently Sony currently blocks Linux from accessing the video card directly ... hopefully Sony will provide a better API.

Gentoo Linux on PS3

It looks like you build Gentoo linux on the PS3 according to this link:

This link talks about offering pre-compiled binaries, compiled on PS3 (since compilation can be slow with limited memory).

According to PenguinPPC where I found the above link, they plan on hosting pre-compiled binaries for PS3 due to the limit memory of a PS3 (only 256 meg available to Linux). So might be a good link for the Gentoo lovers out there!

Here is a Slashdot article pointing to full install instructions as well.

16,000 chickens simulated on one cell

The link:
From IEEE Spectrum - January 2007 (Pages 40 - 43).

IEEE Spectrum has a great article about the problems programmers have when trying to create parallel processing algorithms. But in the article they talk about a simulation done on a single cell processor .. where (in real-time) 16,000 chicken's actions were simulated .. key quote from the article:

"Imagine the biggest flock of virtual fowl ever assembled. Each chicken is controlled by a simple artificial intelligence program, operating according to a handful of rules. Each chicken wants to move toward the rooster but must avoid collisions with other chickens, fences, and the barn. To do so, each one must constantly check the position of its nearest neighbors and other objects in its environment and then decide how to move.
If that doesn’t sound all that impressive to you, consider this: all 16 000 of those faux chickens are doing this maneuvering at the same time on a single Cell microprocessor. It is a chore that would tax a rack full of conventional servers." (Spectrum Jan 2007 page 41)

Here is a link to a presentation where the "16,000 chicken" program is run and explained. You have to go about 32mins into the video to hit the chicken demo part.

Compiling MythTV on PS3: use --enable-proc-opt

You can read the Google Groups Thread for more details.
Short answer .. use --enable-proc-opt

Theodore Murdock sent me this helpful note.
I suppose I should also mention that anyone who wants to compile MythTV also *must* use --enable-proc-opt

If you don't, MythTV will try to compile for a generic x86 processor, --enable-proc-opt allows it to compile for a specific processor architecture, which is something we need when we're compiling for PPC.

He also notes that using --enable-xvmc helps to avoid complaints about missing xvmc files ... however another user has posted in the google groups forum that:

Just thought I would point out that you can compile MythTV without XvMC support, and as there is no hope of it working at the moment that might be the way to go.

I think you will need to remove the XvMC libraries as it gets enabled automatically (usually) if the files are present. Relevant info:

"If you have the libXvMCW wrapper installed, then it will be
automatically enabled by the configure program and all of the available library assets will be utilized. However, double-check your ./configure output during MythTV configuration state whether it says "yes" after "XvMC support" (or XvMC pro support) or not, since some distributions do not enable XvMC automatically regardless of XvMC library found in /usr/lib."
taken from:

Saturday, January 6, 2007

PS3 install .. on a normal TV

Just received a viewers question about hooking up the PS3 to a normal TV.

The issue is how to boot linux on a NON HDTV. To simply the issue .. assume its a screen resolution problem. Technically there is more to screen resolutino when comparing analog TV to the new hi-def digital tv .. but lest keep it simple.

HDTV can do up to 1920x1080 (lets ignore progressive vs. interlaced please).
SDTV which is the digital equivalent to analog TV resolution is 704x480. (Technically analog TV's could do 640 x 480 .. but analog signal integrity issue usually skewed the real resolution to much less).

So .. in order to boot the PS3 on a normal TV .. you need to tell Yellow Dog Linux to use a SDTV resolution instead of the HDTV default.

See 's "Post install setup" section for more details.

Also .. Red Marine sent me this link .. it looks good too "YDL on SDTV" (

To do so edit the file (as root) /etc/kboot.conf

Change the line "default=ydl" to be "default=ydl480i".

This will tell Yellow Dog Linux to use a lower resolution and should then produce a more readable output to the TV. Do remember that even with S-VIDEO output .. analog TVs are NOT computer monitor .. so the picture will appear fuzzier and harder to read.

Please post any success / failures to the comments sections so others can see how well this works!

Thursday, January 4, 2007

An introduction to Linux on the PlayStation 3 by IBM

This Slashdot article references a great article by IBM on Cell processor programming.

Its called "An introduction to Linux on the PlayStation 3" if the link doesn't work its


Wednesday, January 3, 2007

PS3 Yellow Dog Linux Install Videos

Thanks to "Red Marine" for this link to a Yellow Dog install video.