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The Price of Performance: An Economic Case for Chip Multiprocessing

ACM Queue, vol. 3 (2005), pp. 48-53


Over the last decade we have witnessed a succession of increasingly power inefficient CPU designs. In this article we examine some economic aspects of building a large scale computing infrastructure, and how such power trends, if continued, might threaten the affordability of computing. We further argue that chip multiprocessing constitute our best hope for reverting these power inefficiency trends, and that chip multiprocessing architectures are a very good match to the computational requirements of large scale internet services.