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Powerful SpursEngine ready for PC builders now

Toshiba is ready to ship samples of the SE1000 SpursEngine

You've heard all about the wonders of the mighty Cell processor that powers the PS3 and high-end industrial computers, so maybe now's the time to get in on the act yourself with Toshiba's Cell-based chipset about to go on sale.

The Tokyo company has announced that it is ready to ship samples of the SE1000 SpursEngine to manufacturers for the bargain price of ¥10,000 (£49) each. Mind you, there's a minimum order of several hundred units to qualify for the development support on offer, so a spot of DIY PC building might prove costly.

Upscaling video

Whatever the big PC builders do with the chip is sure to be impressive - demos we saw in Japan last year had a prototype Toshiba laptop upscaling standard video to HD TV and handling complex real-time graphics tasks.

The earlier-than-expected arrival of the SpursEngine promises consumer products powered by its four Cell-derived cores within a year or so. As for Toshiba itself, we're still waiting to hear if it has plans to bring a SpursEngine PC to market.