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Wire delay is emerging as the natural limiter to microprocessor scalability. A new architectural approach could solve this problem, as well as deliver unprecedented performance, energy efficiency and cost effectiveness. The Raw microprocessor research prototype uses a scalable instruction set architecture to attack the emerging wire-delay problem by providing a parallel, software interface to the gate, wire and pin resources of the chip. An architecture that has direct, first-class analogs to all of these physical resources will ultimately let programmers achieve the maximum amount of performance and energy efficiency in the face of wire delay.