For these reasons, Cell is widely regarded as a challenging environment for software development.The architecture will not be widely used unless it is adopted by the software development community.However, Cell's strengths may make it useful for scientific computing regardless of its mainstream success.
Over 400 engineers from the three companies worked together in Austin, with critical support from eleven of IBM's design centers.
During this period, IBM filed many patents pertaining to the Cell architecture, manufacturing process, and software environment.
An early patent version of the Broadband Engine was shown to be a chip package comprising four "Processing Elements", which was the patent's description for what is now known as the Power Processing Element (PPE).
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.
Exotic features such as the XDR memory subsystem and coherent Element Interconnect Bus (EIB) interconnect appear to position Cell for future applications in the supercomputing space to exploit the Cell processor's prowess in floating point kernels.The Cell architecture includes a memory coherence architecture that emphasizes power efficiency, prioritizes bandwidth over low latency, and favors peak computational throughput over simplicity of program code.It was developed by Sony, Toshiba, and IBM, an alliance known as "STI".The architectural design and first implementation were carried out at the STI Design Center in Austin, Texas over a four-year period beginning March 2001 on a budget reported by Sony as approaching US0 million.Cell is shorthand for Cell Broadband Engine Architecture, commonly abbreviated CBEA in full or Cell BE in part.The first major commercial application of Cell was in Sony's Play Station 3 game console.