the Cell is also a new microprocessor design by IBM with Sony and Toshiba, complete with a distributed computing architecture. While at the time of writeup no units have appeared in actually shipped products, the Cell has been officially announced and its architecture has been widely discussed online.
The Cell, for what is known, is a design optimized for speed on integer operations. The design is, in a sense, "simpler" than current Pentium designs, and it leaves a lot of responsibility to the compiler, that must produce code that exploites the unique Cell architecture.
A Cell unit will be composed of one controlling unit, similar to a PowerPC processor, the EIB (Element Interconnect Bus) a very high speed crossbar interconnet (multi Gigabit/s speed) and eight APUs, that's to say Attached Processor Unit. The APUs are vector processors, each one with 128 Kilobytes of local storage and 128 registers, each 128 bits wide. There is no L1 cache, or other forms of caches. The idea is to devote as much of the silicon as possible to the actual execution of instructions.
The EIB handles all off-chip communication.
IBM claims that one single Cell processor will be much faster than the fastest Pentium processor in production. But the real power of the Cell architecture will be that it is supposed to make easy the assembly of multiprocessor machines. IMHO, this thing is really going for Intel's throat - at the very least it will be able to emulate a Pentium.
Applications: the PlayStation3, and consumer electronics by Toshiba. Anything that requires heavy duty integer performance, such as real-time 3D and encoding/decoding of multimedia content.