Look at the history of IT and you'll see that most of the more important events went unheralded with no one paying attention at the time. Tomorrow may be different, because that's when IBM's von Arnd Bergmann will be taking the wraps off
the cell programming model at Linuxtag (in Karlsruhe, Germany) 2005. He'll focus, apparently, on Linux kernel and applications modifications needed to take advantage of the eight on board grid processors.
That's going to be interesting - but so's a closely related development. According to several different translations of an interview given the Japanese PC watch site, Sony entertainment president Ken Kutaragi made a number of extremely interesting comments about cell.
Here's an interpretation of part of what he said provided by ign.com.
Sony is looking into having Linux installed from the start on the PS3 hard disk. Referring to Linux as being "legacy," Kutaragi adds that it's just the start, as with Cell, the operating system runs as an application on top of the basic Cell OS. The presence of the Cell OS allows for multiple operating systems to run on the machine simultaneously, including, of course, Linux, but also making room for Windows and Apple's Tiger OS.
Bear in mind that the cell consists of an Altivec equiped PPC based main processor controlling an eight way on-board grid. Getting Linux and MacOS X to run on the main processor is apparently relatively easy, but getting beyond that to tapping the the enormous potential offered by the grid correspondingly difficult. That's what Bergmann is going to talk about -even as Sony Entertainment considers adding "legacy" Linux to the core package.