On the Bleeding Edge: the Future of Processors

A collection of articles from around the web on the latest in the world of processor technology

Yevgeniy Sverdlik

February 25, 2016

4 Min Read
On the Bleeding Edge: the Future of Processors
Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, 2007 (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

While the server market remains firmly in the steel grip of Intel’s x86 architecture, there are serious challengers, including from the company that has beat Intel in the smartphone market. Here’s is a collection of in-depth reporting from around the web on the latest and biggest developments in processor technology and the global processor market.

As the Sunset of Moore’s Law Nears, What’s Next?


Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, 2007 (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Upcoming release of International Roadmap for Devices and Systems, the biennial forecast of the future progress in processors, will for the first time not be centered on Moore’s Law. The physical limit of how small process technology can get is now very well within our sight. Judging by chipmaker predictions, once five-nanometer process technology arrives, sometime around 2021, the physics that governs the way chips behave today will no longer apply. At that scale, we enter the unpredictable realm of quantum mechanics, and it’s unclear which way technological progress will turn at that point. Will we finally get viable quantum computers, or will engineers and scientists focus on optimizing other elements of the computing systems? This piece by re/code’s Arik Hesseldahl summarizes where we are now, and asks some fundamental questions about the future of computing: Global Chip Industry Readies for a Future beyond Moore’s Law

Is Google Flirting with Qualcomm behind Intel’s Back?

When Bloomberg reported early this month that Google was going to publicly endorse Qualcomm’s server chips, it was huge news. There was so much there: one of the world’s biggest buyers of server processors had allegedly found an alternative chip supplier to Intel, the company that has pretty much monopolized the server processor market and has been relying on data center processor sales to compensate for shrinking PC sales.


Google data centers in the Dalles, Oregon, 2006 (Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer/Getty Images)

And, that alternative supplier would be Qualcomm, the world’s largest maker of smartphone chips, the company that beat Intel at its own game in this space. But, as Wired later reported, Google seems to have pulled out of its scheduled appearance at a Qualcomm event at the last minute. The Wired piece explains why this was such a big deal and where things are headed in the world of processors inside some of the world’s largest data centers: Google’s Hardware Endgame? Making Its Very Own Chips

China’s Server Chip Ambitions


A Chinese man wears a mask as he waits to cross the road near the CCTV building during heavy smog on November 29, 2014 in Beijing. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

Growth of the Chinese server market is vastly outpacing growth of the global server market, while Chinese server vendors are biting off an increasingly bigger chunk of the global server market. Chinese government and Chinese tech companies want to continue on this trajectory, ideally using Chinese technology. This piece in The Next Platform describes in-depth China’s server processor ambitions: China Lays the Chip Foundation tor Its Next Platform

The Man behind the Chips in Apple Devices


The Apple logo hangs in front of an Apple store in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

While people like Apple CEO Tim Cook or Jony Ive, the company’s design chief responsible for the way Apple products look and feel, get the bulk of attention, the company generally keeps the more technical side of things tightly under wraps, and little is known about people who make sure the legendary devices actually work. In a rare glimpse under the hood, Apple, apparently in the hopes of lifting up its struggling shares, gave Bloomberg Business a tour of its processor development facilities and an interview with Johny Srouji, a Christian Arab from Israel who’s in charge of Apple’s chip design. The article is a fascinating look at the hidden world inside Apple and the team that makes Apple possible: The Most Important Apple Executive You’ve Never Heard Of

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