Wednesday, November 30, 2005


More performance thoughts..

I got a comment (anonymous.. please let me know who you are!) on the future of performance post.
sounds like you're advocating external co-processors... the kinds of processors he's advocating are more like Tensilica

I am advocating co-processors. In time the capabilities may merge with Van Neumann style chips, or at least be on the same die. Core's (since I don't *think* they do burnt chips) like Tensilica are useful, as are other hybrid designs like Stretch or even (eek, a static chip?) like Clearspeed or even the Cell. The last couple move the mainstream forward, but I think, to really harness app specific power a reconfigurable design will be needed.

The limitations with current FPGAs I'd say, are (for my apps) floating point support / capacity, the clock speed (let's get a 3GHz device - no, I don't really care about the heat coming out of it sometimes), and memory speeds. RAM running at serious speeds (there may be some), like nGHz, to match the chip speeds, will really blow the socks off the performance curves for a much bigger set of applications -- I'm talking Gigs of RAM not the little blobs on-chip in FPGAs.

The RAM speed is the most important one for adoption.

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