FOSDEM '08 is a free and non-commercial event organised by the community, for the community. Its goal is to provide Free and Open Source developers a place to meet.


Schedule: Linux on the PS3

Olivier Grisel
Day Saturday
Room AW1.126
Start time 14:15
End time 15:00
Duration 00:45
Event type Podium
Track Embedded
Language English
Linux on the PS3

Sony's Playstation 3 is an interesting platform to run Linux on and start hacking: first it comes with a pre-installed Xen hypervisor to easily install any OS without erasing the original gaming OS. Furthermore IBM provides a complete C/C++ SDK based on gcc to leverage the amazing Cell BE CPU.

The Cell BE is an 8 cores chip of which 7 SPEs are optimised to perform Single Instruction Multiple Data processing and the remaining hyperthreaded PowerPC core (aka the PPE) plays the role of a conductor. For numerical applications a single Cell BE can run up to 200 GFLOPS where a typical Intel Core2Duo theoretically gives 30.

The talk will be organised as follows: we first introduce the general architecture of the PS3 system, then we focus on SIMD programming with sample program written for both the PPE's Altivec instruction set and the SPEs. Then we will finally show how to use Direct Memory Access to feed the cores with data without stall by implementing double-buffering with the DMA API of libspe2.