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Given the current trends in multicore scaling, chips with 1000 cores may exist within the next 5 to 10 years. However, their promise of increased performance will only be reached if their inherent scaling and programming challenges are overcome. Meanwhile, recent advances in nanophotonic device manufacturing are making CMOS-integrated optics a reality - interconnect technology which can provide more bandwidth at lower power than conventional electronics. Perhaps more importantly, optical interconnect also has the potential to enable new, easy-to-use programming models enabled by its inexpensive broadcast mechanism.
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