SpursEngine

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An illustration of the SpursEngine SE1000 processor.

SpursEngine is a microprocessor from Toshiba built as a media oriented coprocessor, designed for 3D- and video processing in consumer electronics such as set-top boxes and computers. The SpursEngine processor is also known as the Quad Core HD processor. Announced 20 September 2007.[1]

The SpursEngine is a stream processor powered by four Synergistic Processing Elements (SPE),[2] also used in the Cell processor featured in Sony PlayStation 3. These processing elements are fed by on chip H.264 and MPEG-2 codecs and controlled by an off die host CPU, connected by an on chip PCIe controller[2] (in contrast to the Cell processor which has an on chip CPU (the PPE) doing similar work). To enable smoother interaction between the host and the SpursEngine Toshiba also integrated a simple proprietary 32-bit control core. The SpursEngine employs dedicated XDR DRAM as its working memory.[2]

The SpursEngine is designed to work at much lower frequencies than the Cell and Toshiba has also optimized the circuit layout of the SPEs to reduce the size by 30%.[3] The resulting chip consumes 10-20 W of power.

The SpursEngine is accessible to the developer from a device driver developed for Windows and Linux systems. Software supporting the SpursEngine is limited and is primarily in the realm of video editing and encoding.[4]

Technical specification[edit]

Logic schematic of the SpursEngine chip[2]

The first generation of SpursEngine processors are specified as follows:

Commercialization[edit]

In April 2008 Toshiba shipped samples of the SpursEngine SE1000 device, a PCIe based reference board.[5]

  • The accelerator card connects to a 1x PCI Express bus and has 128 MB XDR DRAM with 12.8 GB/s.
  • Leadtek is producing the WinFast PxVC1100 and HPVC1100, internal and external PCIe accelerators based on the SE1000 platform.[6][7][8]
  • Thomson-Canopus has announced the Firecoder Blu, a PCIe accelerator based on the SE1000 platform.[9]

Toshiba included the SpursEngine processors in their Qosmio laptops, models F50, G50 and G55, in the third quarter of 2008.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]