Toshiba Corp. exhibited a notebook computer equipped with the Spurs Engine media processor based on the Cell Broadband Engine technology at CEATEC Japan 2007.
The Spurs Engine executes operations that cause a heavy load on the processor, such as the encoding and decoding of video data and image recognition. In Toshiba's booth, a demonstration is performed in which a video image captured by a camera is synthesized into three-dimensional computer graphics in real time with the use of the Spurs Engine.
The Spurs Engine is equipped with four SPEs, a codec circuit supporting MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, and other components. An SPE is the RISC processor that serves as the computational core of Cell. It operates at a frequency of 1.5 GHz. The Spurs Engine media processor and XDR DRAM are mounted on a board that is connected to the main board via PCI Express.
The demonstration performed in Toshiba's booth is called Facemation, which is based on a three-dimensional face recognition technology. In this demonstration, The Spurs Engine processes the face image input from the camera connected to a personal computer in real time, estimating the position, direction and expression of the face.
The image thus processed is then subjected to three-dimensional rendering by a graphics rendering processor, thereby virtually applying makeup on the face image and changing the hairstyle.