in Hardware

Distributed processing on a chip

Details are emerging on IBM’s “supercomputer on a chip”, which essentially seems to take the logic that distributes operations to multiple chips that used to be done in applications or the operating system and integrate it at the chip level. This has the potential to exponentially speed up everything that’s not already a supercomputer, as software doesn’t have to change to accommodate more than one processor per machine.

From a design perspective, we could think of this as a process innovation rather than one of hardware engineering, as the advantage was gained by taking work from one stage of the system and moving it to another stage.