Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 26th Aug 2010 23:24 UTC
IBM At the Hot Chips 2010 conference, IBM announced their upcoming z196 CPU, which is really, really fast. How fast? Fastest chip in the world fast. Intended for Z-series mainframe computers, the Z196 has a clock speed of 5.2GHz. Measuring just 512 square millimeters, the Z196 is fabricated on 45nm PD SOI technology, and on its surface contains almost one and a half billion transistors. My... Processor is bigger than yours.
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A 16 MB of L1 would be idiotic, since it could actually make things like context switches very costly with so much local data to flush in/out.

Actually, the biggest issue with large L1 is not flush-on-context switch.
The bigger the cache the bigger the index tables (assuming that they are not using direct mapped cache), which in turn, increases the latency.
As a result, L1 caches tend to small and extremely fast, with bigger and slower down the pipeline until you reach the main relatively slow main memory.

- Gilboa

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