However, Cell's strengths may make it useful for scientific computing regardless of its mainstream success.
The Cell was designed over a period of four years, using enhanced versions of the design tools for the POWER4 processor.
Mercury Computer Systems has a dual Cell server, a dual Cell blade configuration, a rugged computer, and a PCI Express accelerator board available in different stages of production.
Toshiba had announced plans to incorporate Cell in high definition television sets, but seems to have abandoned the idea.
In a simple analysis, the Cell processor can be split into four components: external input and output structures, the main processor called the Power Processing Element (PPE) (a two-way simultaneous multithreaded Power ISA v.2.03 compliant core), eight fully functional co-processors called the Synergistic Processing Elements, or SPEs, and a specialized high-bandwidth circular data bus connecting the PPE, input/output elements and the SPEs, called the Element Interconnect Bus or EIB.
Additionally the processor may be suited to digital imaging systems (medical, scientific, etc.) and physical simulation (e.g., scientific and structural engineering modeling).In the Play Station 3, one SPE is locked-out during the test process, a practice which helps to improve manufacturing yields, and another one is reserved for the OS, leaving 6 free SPEs to be used by games' code.The relationship between cores and threads is a common source of confusion.The world's three most energy efficient supercomputers, as represented by the Green500 list, are similarly based on the Power XCell 8i.The 45 nm Cell processor was introduced in concert with Sony's Play Station 3 Slim in August 2009.