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Latency lags bandwidth

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1 Author(s)
Patterson, D. ; California Univ., Berkeley, CA, USA

Summary form only given. As I review performance trends, I am struck by a consistent theme across many technologies over many years: bandwidth improves much more quickly than latency for four different technologies: disks, networks, memories and processors. A rule of thumb to quantify the imbalance is: bandwidth improves by more than the square of the improvement in latency. This paper lists a half-dozen performance milestones to document this observation, many reasons why it happens, a few ways to cope with it, and two small examples of how you might design systems differently if you kept this simple rule of thumb in mind.

Published in:

Computer Design: VLSI in Computers and Processors, 2005. ICCD 2005. Proceedings. 2005 IEEE International Conference on

Date of Conference:

2-5 Oct. 2005