IBM Announces the "Gameframe"

The world's press is abuzz with IBM's announcement of the "gameframe." IBM will work closely with Hoplon Infotainment to marry the Cell processor with the IBM mainframe, resulting in a single system that can realistically simulate virtual worlds for huge numbers of online gamers.

The New York Times, Associated Press, International Herald Tribune, Forbes, and numerous other media outlets have the story. One typical example is here.

What's your reaction?

by Timothy Sipples April 26, 2007 in Innovation


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Now we need a FICON-compatible PS3 controller so we can play Madden...

Posted by: Bill Seubert | Apr 26, 2007 4:50:37 PM

Bill that's classic.

Posted by: James Governor | Apr 27, 2007 5:10:16 AM

I'm glad to see that finally the idea of specialty engine is not only a reduced standard engine to lower costs, but a true specialized engine to push the power of the mainframe.
Anyway now we need also Full HD HMCs to enjoy Tekken in our IT sites at full resolution!

Posted by: Nepher | Apr 27, 2007 12:49:24 PM

It raises all sorts of interesting questions, though, dunnit. Like how to have RMF report on these beasties, and PR/SM to carve them up. I know NOTHING of the proposed design so I'm speculating when I even begin to think about this.

What does worry me slightly is that PS3 isn't necessarily getting fab reviews - and Cell is in a sense tied to PS3's success.

Posted by: Martin Packer | Apr 29, 2007 10:00:00 AM

While the cell processor has been viewed as a niche player for PS3, I have often thought that an optimised cell compiler for Linux with a coookbook of coding techniques could expand this well beyond gaming into the exciting world of digital data and 3-D presentation. Imagine an OLAP application where the use could "navigate" through the output in 3-D graphics and select the 3 dimensions they wshed to view at any instant from a table.

The integration of real-time graphics with transactional data is a whole new frontier. Medical patient records linked to medical images which have been scanned by the power of cell processing. This is an extension of traditional transactrion processing to exploit nes technologies. Realtime mass biometric analysis linked back to a database of people is a new opportunity.

Internet shopping changes from 2D catalogs to 3D catalogs. Choose your clothing size, select the clothes you are interested in and then mix and then virtually try on the clothes and assess coordination. When satisfied buy or, at a mimimum, play a conditional order online and then go to the mall and spend less time at the store. Would appeal to men. Google like programs could extend this to then search linked stores for the best price.

Engineering design linked to existing records of utility locations etc. The opportunities are endless. The power and concurrency of multi-tasking of the cell processor can leapfrog graphics based and NIC computing and when combined with the strengths of transaction processing and virtualisation of the mainframe, as Hoplon are considering the possibilities are incredible.

If the PS3 struggles in the traditional ganing market but, due to optimised compilers and toolkits, was able to revolutionise commercial graphics processing, then we could see an IT discontinuity similar to moving from batch to OLTP and OLTP to web. Remember these were not replacement technologies but additive and the successful organisations leveraged their investments when exploiting the disruptive technology.

Posted by: John Crooks | May 8, 2007 5:06:55 PM

I keep wondering why CPP, the makers of EVE Online haven't considered using a mainframe to solve thier scalability issues.

Considering that really the entire game is just a huge database with as many as 30,000 concurrent users, you'd think it'd shine on a mainframe.

Posted by: Andrey | May 11, 2007 12:48:29 PM

Andrey, have you suggested to CPP that they take a look at a mainframe, drawing inspiration from one of their competitors, Hoplon?

Posted by: Timothy | Jun 14, 2007 1:54:20 AM

So perhaps instead of supporting an auto insurance company (which nobody enjoys doing business with) I could support an online gaming community (which millions enjoy).

I think I'd like that. Where do I sign up?

Posted by: Kevin | Jul 27, 2007 1:11:00 PM

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