Views differ on how central-processing unit (CPU) architecture will proceed as Moore's Law becomes increasingly irrelevant, with some experts expecting a massive surge in processor performance while others anticipate more gradual, incremental improvements.
"For general-purpose applications, we have run out of ideas for making them faster," says University of California, Berkeley professor David Patterson. "The path forward is domain-specific architecture."
Patterson thinks the way ahead will be the addition of highly specialized processors that outperform standard microprocessors.
However, such processors run specialized software requiring their own tools and compilers, and Berkeley professor Krste Asanovic says CPU proliferation is bad in terms of software complexity, but unavoidable.
Some experts believe quantum computing is the best way to accelerate processing speed, while others say the rapid traction of the processor market is inhibiting advances.
Open source processor hardware such as RISC-V is envisioned as a means for more affordable innovation.
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