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November 2013, Volume 2, Number 10

Modern processor design means integration, efficiency

The constant push to boost computing performance and efficiency has taxed the venerable x86 architecture and presented modern processor design with new challenges. Improving processor design Part 1: Modern processor design means integration, efficiency Part 2: Reintroducing the RISC processor for data center servers It’s far from obsolete, but designers working with x86 systems face major challenges packing more transistors into less space while trying to use less energy, given current fabrication technologies. Enterprise system designers are discovering that a single processor isn’t necessarily the most efficient answer for computing tasks related to big data, generic private cloud, high performance computing or Web serving. Rather, matching a particular processor design to the specific task can provide superior computing performance -- often requiring just a fraction of the energy used for traditional x86 processors. This is not a new concept. Purpose-built and reduced instruction set processors existed in everything from ...

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