CTO interview: Europe benefits from energy gains in AMD chips

When it comes to computing power, Europe is facing what at first glance seems to be a paradox. Performance must continue to increase, while power consumption must decrease. 

“Over the next decade, energy efficiency is going to rise to top-priority,” says Mark Papermaster, chief technology officer at AMD.
“It doesn’t mean the performance of the computing systems is any less important. We have to improve the performance at least at the same pace as the old Moore’s law, which means doubling it roughly every two years.”

In fact, the demand for computing power is increasing at a much higher rate than ever before. AI algorithms, for example, will require 10 times more computing power every year for the foreseeable future.

According to Papermaster, energy consumption will be the limiting factor as the rate of performance increases in future generations. AMD is rising to the challenge with what he calls a “holistic” design approach. 

Transistor density still matters. It may not be on par with Moore’s law, but chip manufacturers will continue to cram more transistors into each new generation of semiconductors.
More transistors will provide more functionality and performance. Similarly, frequency – how fast the transistors run – will no longer increase as much as it has in the past. And finally, the price of transistors is going up. All of these aspects of Moore’s law are gone. However, transistors themselves will improve with each new generation. AMD is taking it even further by marrying their improved transistors with new design techniques on how computation is carried out. 

AMD also plans to innovate around how they package accelerators with central processing units (CPUs). They have already done so w …

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