T'was on slashdot a while ago. It is new technology they are developing to help with graphics processing.
Basically it is a vector processor. Since graphics can generally be vectorized, same with sound, it means it will be a lot faster than current designed CPU's, and because of the way the CPU is designed, it will allow it to do a whole lot of calculations in a small time span. Also, it would allow it to actually reach it theoretical throughput speed, rather than what we have now in the PC world, which is where the CPU is sometimes waiting on things to come out of the memory, as this has the memory on the chip, and or very close by.
Google it, interesting technology, someone already dissected it, and wrote a paper on it.
Multicored CPU with one controlling CPU. Judging from what I am reading on other sites, the new PS3 with be running 8cores (1 controlling core, 7processing cores). One controlling core can control up to 64 processing cores. Think of a Intel P4 with 64 hyper-threadings.
Multicores can combine together to speed processing, kind of like a network grid. The more cell cpu's that join the grid, the more processing power each core has. Think of Folding@Home where more computers join in to speed up processing of info. One PS3 not fast enough, go buy another one network them together.
Digital Rights Management will be applied at the core level.
heeter: DRM is not at the core level, it is software. IBM wants to be able to later on sell these things as the new Power CPU's as they use an extremely low amount of wattage, so that means almost no heat. However, before they do that, they need to redesign it a just a bit, there are not that many things in the real world (OS related, and none gaming) that can be vectorized, which is what the entire cell CPU is based around.
LordOfLa: You will see that when they are able to vectorize the entire OS, as graphics can be vectorized (Don't ask me what it means, that is what i read). It seems they are unable to do it for the core OS.
Well now ain't that a surprise - not! Fact is I can remember my first encounter with vector graphics on a terminal - was on a mainframe at my Uncle's Uni and was 31 years ago. At that time a UK company (ICL) was developing.... although the patent may be new there is nothing terribly new about vector graphics.....