Toshiba has unveiled a new Cell TV prototype that is powered by powerful Cell processor during the CEATEC event held in Japan recently. During the event, Toshiba demonstrated faster channel switching capability whereby the multi-core cell processor is capable of processing 48 videos that were read from hard disk and display directly on digital TV screen simultaneously.

Cell processor is a multi-core architecture design that co-developed by IBM, Sony and Toshiba back to 2000. It has been used extensively in high end game consoles such as current Sony’s famous PlayStation 3 and now there is a plan to extend the usage model to support future digital TV products in high end market. Not to surprise in view of digital TV evolution that requires more powerful processor to handle high definition video decode for multiple streams while still having some CPU headroom for other processing. With its integrated graphics processing capability, Cell Processor can decode up to eight individual video streams received from broadcast station simultaneously. Just imagine, users will be able to enjoy greater multimedia experience by having faster HD channel switching, multiple video streams handling, picture-in-picture and even web browsing features all integrated into next generation TV in short future.

The demonstration has marked a major milestone for digital TV evolution and it is expected that the end TV product will be available by 2009 in commercial market.

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