The Cell inside the Playstation 3 is an 8 core asymmetrical CPU. It consists of one Power Processing Element(PPE), and 7 Synergistic Processing Elements(SPE). Each of these elements are clocked at 3.2GHz and are connected on a 4 ring Element Interconnect Bus(EIB) capable of a peak performance of ~204.8GB/s. Every processing element on the bus has its own memory flow controller and direct memory access (DMA) controller. Other elements on the bus are the memory controller to the 256MB XDR RAM, and two Flex I/O controllers.
The PPE is based on IBM’s POWER architecture. It is a general purpose RISC(reduced instruction set) core clocked at 3.2GHz, with a 32kb L1 instruction cache, 32kb L1 data cache, and a 512kb L2 cache. It is a 64-bit processor with the ability to fetch four instructions and issue two in a single clock cycle. It is able to handle two hardware threads simultaneously. It comes with a VMX unit with 32 registers. The PPE is an in-order processor with delayed execution and limited out-of-order support for load instructions.
The cell is the most powerful processor in the world, and when properly used with the RSX GPU, the playstation 3 can perform up to 2 TFLOPS and is therefore worthy of the title super computer. This huge amount of processing power is used to render many different processes in real time in parallell; such as lighting, physics, navigation, artificial intelligance, etc. The cell and RSX also pool their RAM and processing power to create stunning DX10 like visuals, which rival those of high end computers.