Please read the letter to prospective students.
For the past 30 years, microprocessor performance has increased at a rate of about 50 percent per year, a factor of 60 per decade, while maintaining the same basic programming model and architecture. Over the next decade, the performance of classical architectures will increase at a much lower rate, about 20 percent. Staying on the historical performance curve will require new architectures that exploit the characteristics of emerging technology. This performance differential will motivate a revolution in computer architecture in which the architecture that has reigned for the last 50 years will be replaced by one or more radically new ones. This seminar will look at the coming revolution in computer architecture. We will start by examining the classic architecture, the technology trends that have driven its performance growth, and the factors that are leading to the end of this growth. Next, we will examine characteristics of technology that can be exploited for future growth. Application areas will also be discussed. Finally, we will explore some alternative organizations and programming systems that may replace the status quo.