ATAC: On-Chip Optical Networks for Multicore Processors

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Executive Summary

ˆe trend in modern microprocessor architectures is clear: multicore is here. As silicon resources become increasingly abundant, processor designers are able to place more and more cores on a chip: AMD and Intel have released 2-core chips with 4-core offerings coming soon. Forecasts show that by 2014, processors may contain thousands of cores. But will current processor architectures especially their interconnection mechanisms scale to thousands of cores and will programming such systems be tractable? This paper argues that current mulitcore architectures will not scale to thousands of cores and introduces ATAC, a new processor architecture that attempts to solve these issues.

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