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Has CPU Performance Hit a Wall?

Christopher Mims over at MIT Technology Review writes that making computers faster means relying on the CPU less than ever before.

The Central Processing Unit (CPU)–the component that has defined the performance of your computer for many years–has hit a wall. In fact, the next-generation of CPUs, including Intel’s forthcoming Sandy Bridge processor, have to contend with multiple walls–a memory bottleneck (the bandwidth of the channel between the CPU and a computer’s memory); the instruction level parallelism (ILP) wall (the availability of enough discrete parallel instructions for a multi-core chip) and the power wall (the chip’s overall temperature and power consumption).”

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