Within the barrage of new and boring video players at CEATEC2007, Toshiba demoed today a Qosmio laptop equipped with their new SpursEngine. The SpursEngine is a processor loaded with four Cell Broadband Engine cores—called Synergistic Processing Elements—the same technology inside the PS3. The new processor, which also has MPEG-2 and H.264 encoding/decoding units, is designed to handle images and video bypassing the CPU or the graphic card, doing all sorts of magic to it, like real-time face recognition of video streams, like they showed in their demo:
During their Facemation demonstration, the SpursEngine-equipped Qosmio captured the face of the user and processed it in real-time, changing the hair style, makeup and appearance at 30 frames-per-second, just using 30% of the CPU capability. Without the SpursEngine, however, the frame rate dropped to 16fps and the CPU throttled up to 80% of its capacity.
Another demo was the recognition of faces in video stream, which could then be later used to tag the video with meta-information for searches—which could be quite useful. Or the control of playback using motion recognition, so a user could just wave their hands to control playback, a la Harry Potter.
The processor, which uses XDR DRAM for massive data transfer capabilities, is designed to be integrated with all kinds consumer electronics, but don't expect to see it in a LCD TV, camera or a real Qosmio soon: There's no date for release yet. [Impress PC Watch]