Toshiba just pushed its SpursEngine co-processor chip out the door for sampling. Derived from the Cell processor at the heart of Sony's PS3, the SpursEngine SE1000 contains 4 processor cores (not 8 like the Cell) and a hardware codec for encoding and decoding MPEG-2/H.264 video. It's designed to manhandle real-time graphics processing and video manipulation when used in a potent three-way with your computer's CPU and GPU. The processor is expected to cost as little as $50 by the time it appears in the first consumer electronics devices -- likely graphics cards -- early next year. A very good thing if the production experience is anything like the demonstrations we've seen.

[Via Impress]

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Toshiba releases SpursEngine graphics co-processor for testing