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Memory systems for conventional large-scale computers provide only limited bytes/s of data bandwidth when compared to their flop/s of instruction execution rate. The resulting bottleneck limits the bytes/flop that a processor may access from the full memory footprint of a machine and can hinder overall performance. This paper discusses physical and functional views of memory hierarchies and examines existing ratios of bandwidth to execution rate versus memory capacity (or bytes/flop versus capacity) found in a number of large-scale computers. The paper then explores a set of technologies, Proximity Communication, low-power on-chip networks, dense optical communication, and Sea-of-Anything interconnect, that can flatten this bandwidth hierarchy to relieve the memory bottleneck in a large-scale computer that we call "Hero."
Danny Cohen, Alex Chow, Gary Lauterbach, John E. Cunningham, Bernard Tourancheau, Ron Ho, Bruce Guenin, Craig Forrest, Arthur Zingher, Robert Drost, Ivan Sutherland, Ashok V. Krishnamoorthy, "Challenges in Building a Flat-Bandwidth Memory Hierarchy for a Large-Scale Computer with Proximity Communication", High-Performance Interconnects, Symposium on, vol. 00, no. , pp. 13-22, 2005, doi:10.1109/CONECT.2005.12
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