Multicore SoC and processor designs were our solution to the death of Dennard Scaling when IC process geometries dropped below 90nm, when processor speeds hit 3GHz, and when processor power consumption went off the charts. Since 2004, we’ve transformed Moore’s Law into a processor-core replicator, spending transistors on more processor cores rather than bigger, smarter, faster processor cores. But there’s a storm brewing once more, heralded by the dismal utilization of supercomputers that run hundreds to hundreds of thousands of processors in parallel. Currently, per-core processor utilization in supercomputers is less than 10% and falling due to memory and I/O limitations. If we don’t want the same thing to happen to our multicore SoC designs, we need to find a new path that allows processor utilization to scale along with processor core count.
That’s how Samplify CTO and founder Al Wegener opened last week’s presentation to the Santa Clara Chapter of the IEEE Computer Society. Wegener’s company specializes in data compression, which happens to be a way to get more bandwidth out of your existing memory and memory interfaces. But before he cranked up his memory-compression sales pitch, Wegener covered a lot of useful ground that every SoC designer needs to know.
To read the full article, see this blog post on the Denali Memory Report blog.