IBM on Tuesday launched a set of software tools it hopes will spur wider interest in its upcoming Cell microprocessor that is key to the computing giant's return to profitable chipmaking.
International Business Machines Corp. has developed Cell jointly with Sony Corp. (6758.T) and Toshiba Corp. (6502.T), for use in Sony's PlayStation 3 video game console due out next year.
But IBM said the development kits will help programmers write software for the chip in areas such as medical imagery, aerospace and digital television.
"We view this as the jumping-off point where communities of interest can get started surrounding Cell and people can explore the full power of the architecture," said Ted Maeurer, head of the Sony Toshiba IBM Design Center in Austin, Texas.
"We think there will be a variety of interest for companies that might be doing digital content creation."
IBM is banking on the chip to help revive its flagging microchip division, which has lost more than $1 billion since 2002.