wowza number is MIPs
Tuesday, January 30 2007
I yawn every time I hear about the latest Hardonium processor with its multiple cores and onion skins of cache. On most computers these days, most of that power ends up being used by Norton Internet Security (and the spammer dæmons it fails to detect). I could be wrong about this, but it doesn't seem as if processors have improved much since 2003. At this point the chip makers can no longer crank up the speed so they're slapping more cores onto the same piece of silicon, making processors that burn that much more electricity. Is Moore's Law already dead? If it isn't it's being used to achieve the wrong goals.
I'm a firm believer in using Moore's Law not to crank up the computational power of CPUs but instead to make them run with less power. I love the idea of an entire Commodore 64 on a chip using microwatts of power (such chips actually exist).
As an indication of its usefulness, the web is pretty much my only source of information these days, but when I went looking for a graph showing MIPs/Watt of various processors I came up empty handed. Nobody saw fit to compile this information. (And, suspiciously, all the graphs showing the yearly increase in processor MIPs stop at 2003; this Intel propaganda graph, where the wowza number is transistors, is useless.)
A half inch of snow fell this evening, the first measurable accumulation of the season, and in the light of the nearly-full moon it looked magical. I actually went outside just to experience it, since I was coming out of one of the longest snow draughts of my life (excepting the period when I lived in Southern California).
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