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EE Journal Article: Fifty (Or Sixty) Years Of Processor Development…For This?

By March 29, 2018May 12th, 2021No Comments

Dr. David Patterson quick-marched an audience of about 200 pizza-sated engineers through a half-century of computer design on March 15. He spoke from the podium in a large conference room in building E at Texas Instruments’ Santa Clara campus during an IEEE talk titled “50 Years of Computer Architecture: From Mainframe CPUs to DNN TPUs and Open RISC-V.” It’s a history of accidental successes and potholes, sinkholes, and black holes that swallow entire architectures.
Patterson started his talk with the 1960s and the groundbreaking IBM System/360 project, which built upon Maurice Wilkes’s early development of microprogramming in 1951. That was long, long ago in computer years. Towards the end of his talk, Patterson displayed an earthshaking graph showing precisely how the death of Dennard Scaling, followed closely by the death of Moore’s Law, is altering the way we design computers. He finished by explaining the technological post mortem aftereffects of these shocks.
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