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Billion-transistor architectures: there and back again

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2 Author(s)
Burger, D. ; Texas Univ., Austin, TX, USA ; Goodman, J.R.

In September 1997, Computer published a special issue on billion-transistor microprocessor architectures. Comparing that issue's predictions about the trends that would drive architectural development with the factors that subsequently emerged shows a greater-than-predicted emphasis on clock speed and an unforeseen importance of power constraints. Of seven architectural visions proposed in 1997, none has yet emerged as dominant. However, as we approach a microarchitectural bound on clock speed, the primary source of improved performance must come from increased concurrency. Future billion-transistor architectures will be judged by how efficiently they support distributed hardware without placing intractable demands on programmers.

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:37 ,  Issue: 3 )