The cell broadband engine is a multi-core processor. One of the cores, the so called PPE, is a general processor that can handle I/O, memory, etc. There are 6 so called SPEs that are spezialized to number crunching. All the cores are 128-bit SIMD .
So basically there are two ways to parallelize here.
- Run the ray tracer on the six SPEs and merge the results.
- Rewrite the ray tracer to process 4 rays simultaneously using the SIMD vectors.
At the point of writing i only implemented the first point. See my homepage for details. The following film shows the ray tracer in action. The ray tracer simply splits the screen into n parts and uses an SPE for each part.