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Old December 28, 2007, 09:59 PM
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Default Whats after x86? Speculation is welcome.

As stated in a related thread, I feel that the end for the x86 system architecture is coming to an end. Every <insert time frame>, chip manufacturers size things down just a bit. Currently we are looking at the advent of (correct me if I'm wrong) 35nm chips. No chip I have ever heard of has been clocked over 4.8GHz without being capable of frying bacon or requiring liquid nitrogen cooling (and yes; the bacon stunt has actually been tried with a PS3, and as I am able to recall the bacon tasted good while the "heating element" was discarded).==> And I've certainly heard nothing of a chip being clocked past 6GHz. People, we are approaching a time when manufacturers see that this x86 architecture is entirely inadequate. Its over 20 years old and its age is beginning to rear it's hideous head like an angry bull that has strange growths replacing its right eye and left nostril and has a strange hole just above its left eye that houses a colony of fire ants. Yes; that would be considered a fathomably hideous head. This is just my own thought process and has almost no concrete or digital proof whatsoever. If you can find it, post it here, cuz I wanna read it. Happy hunting/thinking/collaborating!!!
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Old December 28, 2007, 10:28 PM
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I'm gonna buy a console and just use my system for checking the mail and media from now on.. sick and tired of them upgrades..
But..imagine 20 years from now...or for our sake just..live the moment and we'll find out after 20 years what's gonna happen with the chips..
PEANUT BUTTER JELLY TIME...
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Old December 28, 2007, 11:09 PM
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At one point, they had P4's going way past 6Ghz on LN2. I think a few broke 8, actually...

At it's most basic form, the x86 architecture is just a device that performs calculations really quickly. Depending on the exact application, different amounts and kinds of storage are used, extra devices for specific kinds of calculations can be included, and different devices can be used to output the results, but it's all in the name of performing calculations a hell of a lot faster than any person can. I'm not sure how something that basic can become obsolete.

True, we hit limits in various areas - die-shrinks are material limited, electrical signals move at finite speeds, etc, but we find ways around that. Even now, companies are toying with and refining optical data transfer, multi-layered processors, new materials, virtualization methods, etc... Right now, our programmers are learning to restructure their programming so that workloads can be split up evenly across multiple cores/devices. Once such techniques become mainstream and mastered, we'll just keep adding cores for a while. Eventually, that will become counter-productive too, so based on whatever demands are being made at the time, someone will figure out a new way to approach those demands. 128-bit instruction sets? Maybe that "Quantum Computing" stuff will become practical by then... who knows?

But I'm not seeing any signs of obsolescence. Now, the people who work with the architecture... they've certainly got their work cut out.
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Old December 29, 2007, 02:02 AM
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could you imagine having a processor clocked at 8ghz that would just be simple mind blowing for me. as for the end of x86 I honestly don't think it will happen anytime soon as MpG stated they will just keep adding more and more cores till they hit the proverbial brick wall and what is over that wall, well I can't even begin to fathom that. it would be really sweet to see what comes after it though.
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Old December 29, 2007, 05:52 AM
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There is a push to change the way BIOS works on a computer which will apparently require a complete revamp of X86 architecture.

Since the new year is coming up, I don't mind doing a little bit of gazing into the crystal ball........

The most likely candidate to offer a complete revamp of X86 architecture will be AMD/ATI with its new batch of "friends". They're in a position to research and offer a new platform which can better integrate all aspects of computer workload so that heavy lifting can be shared rather than everything needing to go through the CPU. I'd still expect such a platform to include an integrated X86 computer on an IC to allow for backwards compatibility, but if they can get the linux community on-board, compatibility for everything but gaming will mostly be a non-issue.
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Old December 29, 2007, 06:29 AM
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onboard physics processing?

new larger format for a mishmash of pci-e cards?
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