The end of the exponential runup in uniprocessor performance and the market saturation of the general-purpose processor mark the end of the “killer micro.” This is a golden time for innovation in computing architectures and software. We have already begun to see diversity in computer designs to optimize for such metrics as power and throughput. The next generation of discoveries will require advances at both the hardware and the software levels.
There is no guarantee that we can make future parallel computing ubiquitous and as easy to use as yesterday’s sequential computer, but unless we aggressively pursue efforts suggested by the recommendations above, it will be game over for future growth in computing performance. This report describes the factors that have led to the limitations on growth in the use of single processors based on CMOS technology. The recommendations here are aimed at supporting and focusing research, development, and education in architectures, power, and parallel computing to sustain growth in computer performance and enjoy the next level of benefits to society.