The future of microprocessors

Shekhar Borkar, Andrew A. Chien
Intel Corporation, Hillsboro, OR
Communications of the ACM, Volume 54 Issue 5, May 2011


   title={The future of microprocessors},

   author={Borkar, S. and Chien, A.A.},

   journal={Communications of the ACM},







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Energy efficiency is the new fundamental limiter of processor performance, way beyond numbers of processors. Microprocessors-single-chip computers-are the building blocks of the information world. Their performance has grown 1,000-fold over the past 20 years, driven by transistor speed and energy scaling, as well as by microarchitecture advances that exploited the transistor density gains from Moore’s Law. In the next two decades, diminishing transistor-speed scaling and practical energy limits create new challenges for continued performance scaling. As a result, the frequency of operations will increase slowly, with energy the key limiter of performance, forcing designs to use large-scale parallelism, heterogeneous cores, and accelerators to achieve performance and energy efficiency. Software-hardware partnership to achieve efficient data orchestration is increasingly critical in the drive toward energy-proportional computing.
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