Recent activities of major chip manufacturers, such as Intel, AMD, IBM and NVIDIA, make it more evident than ever that future designs of microprocessors and large HPC systems will be hybrid/heterogeneous in nature, relying on the integration (in varying proportions) of two major types of components:

1) many-cores CPU technology, where the number of cores will continue to escalate because of the desire to pack more and more components on a chip while avoiding the power wall, instruction level parallelism wall, and the memory wall; and

2) special purpose hardware and accelerators, especially Graphics Processing Units (GPUs), which are in commodity production, have outpaced standard CPUs in floating point performance in recent years, and have become as easy, if not easier to program than multicore CPUs.

While the relative balance between these component types in future designs is not clear, and will likely to vary over time, there seems to be no doubt that future generations of computer systems, ranging from laptops to supercomputers, will consist of a composition of heterogeneous components.

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