Friday, September 05, 2008

What's Hot at HOT CHIPS

I attended HOT CHIPS 20 on August 24-26 at Stanford University. HOT CHIPS' emphasis is more on computer server/system architecture than chip implementation. It's a nice small conference.

What follows are highlights of my conference notes. For more information, try to get a hold of the presentation copies, or attend next year's conference!

  • x86 ISA is dominant for general purpose computing. (Interestingly, the x86 ISA was designed in a rush at Intel in a few weeks, to plug a product gap that they had. Not an elegant design intended to last for 30 years!)
  • Multi-core is here today and used everywhere. (see Day of the Multicores) The jury is still out on how efficiently it can be used by software.
  • Low Power design techniques are everywhere.
    • CPU architectures are changing for low power. Less speculative execution because abandoned computations waste power.
    • Clock gating is common at multiple levels
    • Dynamic Voltage and Frequency Scaling (DVFS) is used in many chips.

Press Coverage

1 comment:

Marketing EDA said...


Maybe it's time to rename the conference from Hot Chips to Cool Chips, lol.

Always thinking about the marketing implications of hot.

When I worked at Intel we always knew that Motorola had a more elegant instruction set, but Intel won in the marketplace because of shrewd marketing and sales strategy, not technology.