Sony is yet again a target for a patent infringement
lawsuit, this time regarding the centerpiece of its latest games console.
Newport Beach, Calif.-based Parallel Processing Corporation
claims that the Cell Broadband Engine, the innovative processor that powers
every PlayStation 3 and several IBM servers, infringes upon a patent that was
filed more than 15 years ago.
Patent number 5,056,000,
titled “Synchronized parallel processing with shared memory,” describes “a high
speed computer that permits the partitioning of a single computer program into
smaller concurrent processes running in different parallel processors. The
program execution time is divided into synchronous phases, each of which may
require a shared memory to be configured in a distinct way. At the end of each
execution phase, the processors are resynchronized such that the composite
system will be in a known state at a known point in time. The computer makes
efficient use of hardware such that n processors can solve a problem almost n
times as fast as a single processor.”
Parallel Processing Corporation filed the suit in the US
District Court for the Eastern District of Texas against Sony, stating that the
use of the Cell Broadband Engine in the PlayStation 3 “are causing irreparable
harm and monetary damage” to the company. The lawsuit is seeking damages,
attorney fees and an injunction against the Japanese electronics company.
It is unclear why Parallel Processing Corporation chose to
only file suit against Sony when the Cell Broadband Engine was a joint
development project with Sony, Toshiba and IBM.