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Roundtable Introduction
January 1998 (vol. 31 no. 1)
pp. 39

Chip architects from Sun, Cyrix, Motorola, Mips, Intel, and Digital see challenges rather than walls in micro-processor design. They share their in-sights in this virtual roundtable.

  • Introduction
  • In "Increasing Work, Pushing the Clock," Mark Tremblay discusses the conflicting goals of improving how much work a processor does per cycle and at the same time shortening the cycle time.
  • In "Reining in Complexity," Greg Grohoski says we need to reduce the processor complexity to spend less time debugging that complexity.
  • In "Specialization: A Way of Life," Brad Burgess thinks tightly interwoven designs will better support focused applications.
  • In "Challenges, Not Roadblocks," Earl Killian is confident the industry will solve foreseeable problems. He sees "big data" problems as key design drivers.
  • In "Maintaining a Leading Position," Robert Colwell sees a convergence of factors that make validation a big concern. He foresees future computers as communication enhancement devices.
  • In "Managing Problems at High Speed," Paul I. Rubinfeld names five issues as important to processor design and discusses some challenges specific to high-speed processor design.
  • Despite the competitiveness of their field, these six architects shared several insights of interest to those not intimately connected with processor design.

    This virtual roundtable concludes by highlighting a technology trend we should hear more about in 1998. In "Introduction to Predication," Wen-mei Hwu explains the technique that is a major change embodied in Intel's next-generation, 64-bit architecture.

    Janet Wilson, "Roundtable Introduction," Computer, vol. 31, no. 1, pp. 39, Jan. 1998, doi:10.1109/2.641976
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