How Many Cores? (Part 2)

New chip architectures and new packaging options—including fan-outs and 2.5D—are changing basic design considerations for how many cores are needed, what they are used for, and how to solve some increasingly troublesome bottlenecks. As reported in part one, just adding more cores doesn't necessarily improve performance, and adding the wrong size or kinds of cores wastes power. That has s... » read more

Are More Processor Cores Better?

Up until the early 2000s, each generation of processor was faster, used more exotic architectures, had deeper pipelines, used more transistors, ran at higher clock frequencies and consumed more power. In fact power was rising faster than performance and led to the extrapolation that within a few generations, processors would run as hot as nuclear reactors. Something had to change, and that c... » read more

Are Processors Running Out Of Steam?

Check out any smart phone these days and you’ll find some reference to the number of cores in the device. It’s not the number of cores that makes a difference, though—or even the clock speed at which they run. Performance depends on the underlying design for how they’re utilized, how often that happens, how much memory they share, how much interaction there is between the cores, and the... » read more

Advanced SoC Interconnect IP

By Kurt Shuler I am thoroughly enjoying 2013. That’s because there seems to be a lot more reason for optimism this year than last year. But before we let go of 2012, it’s important to reflect on the past year and see what it can teach us so we can make better business decisions moving forward. The one lesson learned is that flexibility for SoC designs is increasingly more important. In ... » read more

Relocating Intelligence

For the past couple of decades, intelligence in a system was largely a function of the logic in a processor. That may change, given some of the disparate discussions now under way across the electronics industry. Putting all the intelligence in one place can make the design process more efficient, but it doesn’t necessarily make the system more efficient, either from a performance or pow... » read more