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Hot Chips has emerged as the leading forum to present new processor architectures and other developments in chip design, with an emphasis on deep technical discussion of the detailed workings of upcoming commercial products. A few selected presentations from leading academic researchers complement the industry focus. To encourage busy industry engineers to submit to the conference, the submission guidelines require only a short abstract and the conference proceedings contain only the presentation slides. From more than 75 submissions, the program committee selected 27 presentations for the main conference. This special issue contains seven full-length articles representing the important themes discussed at the 21st annual Hot Chips conference.