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A New Direction for Computer Architecture Research
November 1998 (vol. 31 no. 11)
pp. 24-32

In the past few years, two important trends have evolved that could change the shape of computing: multimedia applications and portable electronics. Together, these trends will lead to a personal mobile-computing environment, a small device carried all the time that incorporates the functions of the pager, cellular phone, laptop computer, PDA, digital camera, and video game.

The microprocessor needed for these devices is actually a merged general-purpose processor and digital-signal processor, with the power budget of the latter.

Yet for almost two decades, architecture research has focused on desktop or server machines. We are designing processors of the future with a heavy bias toward the past. To design successful processor architectures for the future, we first need to explore future applications and match their requirements in a scalable, cost-effective way.

The authors describe Vector IRAM, an initial approach in this direction, and challenge others in the very successful computer architecture community to investigate architectures with a heavy bias for the future.

Christoforos E. Kozyrakis, David A. Patterson, "A New Direction for Computer Architecture Research," Computer, vol. 31, no. 11, pp. 24-32, Nov. 1998, doi:10.1109/2.730733
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