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Today, with the increasing popularity of multicore processors, one approach to optimizing the processor's performance is to reduce the execution times of individual applications running on each core by designing and implementing more powerful cores. Another approach, which is the polar opposite of the first, optimizes the processor's performance by running a larger number of applications on a correspondingly larger number of cores, albeit simpler ones. The difference between these two approaches is that the former focuses on reducing the latency of individual applications or threads (it optimizes the processor's single-threaded performance), whereas the latter focuses on reducing the latency of the applications' threads taken as a group (it optimizes the processor's multithreaded performance). The panel, from the 2007 Workshop on Computer Architecture Research Directions, discusses the relevant issues.
Date of Publication: Nov.-Dec. 2007