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« Evolving Systems Conference | Main | Bruce Perens: The Viability of Open Source »

Jul 12, 2005


Jim McCoy

[You write: Sequential processors have the added challenge that light isn't going to get any faster at 3.4ghz light can travel across the die in one clock cycle. I'm not exactly sure what the implication with this is, but it's a cool stat at any rate.]

The significance of this is that if you increase the clock speed any more then your signal cannot get to the far reaches of the chip (e.g. to trigger some logic action) before the next signal is generated. The only way to solve this problem is to shrink the die so that you can get your signal where it needs to go before the next clock cycle; other solutions are to make the operation take two clock cycles, which is not good for speed, or to use async logic, which is a hard and radical solution to the problem.

To put this into a cute biz metaphor you might understand, imagine that we wanted to make the various options pits at exchanges do more work. We can stuff more people in, but eventually you will run into problems with crowding making the abililty to transmit the message difficult (leakage) and you can only grow this mass of traders to the point where a shouted voice can be heard on the other side...

p.s. How annoying that in addition to shrinking the text input area to the size of a postage stamp, Typepad has also eliminated html markup in comments that would make it easier to show quoted text. Are these people actively trying to destroy the usefulness of their product?


the other implication is that the designer needs to take great care in how they lay out the components.

But I more wrote about not understanding the implication from the standpoint that nobody is doing sequential processor development right now, all the major processor companies are doing multi-core.

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