Re: COMP: Moore's Law

Brian Atkins (
Wed, 09 Jun 1999 19:22:34 -0400

Eugene Leitl wrote:
> writes:
> > 8086 and pushing up performance while bolting on a few new bits here and
> > there, but as far as I remember Merced was supposed to be out already, and
> > even their new core logic chips seem to be well behind (e.g. see
> > Of course there's no
> > particular technical reason for the new chips, so maybe they can drop them
> > and push the 80x86 up to multi-gigahertz clock rates.
> Oh, but there is. These gate delays add up after a while. One needs to
> streamline/radically simplify the architecture to go to higher clock
> rates. Structure shrink alone can't do it forever, you know.
> I think Merced architecture is stale already well before it has become
> available. The Sony Playstation 2 graphics synthesizer seems to be the
> only truly innovative hardware design I am currently aware of. The
> Xilinx people need some watching, as well.

Something else to note is that AMD may finally be able to beat Intel performance with the new K7 series of chips due out this month. They were designed by some of the people that worked on the Alphas, and are definitely designed to scale to high clock rates. And the motherboards may be able to support up to 14 CPUs eventually, each with dedicated memory access.

As for combining mem and CPUs together, I am not sure if that will prevail. There are optical motherboard bus technologies being developed that may eliminate that bottleneck, and leave the flexibility of having separate upgradable components.

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