Challenges towards Exascale Computing

Scaling cubic millimeters to cubic kilometers: computing challenges over the next decade

Krisztian Flautner (ARM)


Silicon technology evolution over the last four decades has yielded an exponential increase in integration densities with steady improvements of performance and power consumption at each technology generation. This steady progress has created a sense of entitlement for the dreams (and products) that future process generations would enable. Today, however, classical process scaling seems to be dead and living up to technology expectations requires continuous innovation at many levels.

As is usually the case with economics, predictions of doom and gloom simply increase the incentives for innovation and give room for creativity. Expectations are high that future computing devices will deliver the sci-fi vision of intelligent devices to a wide consumer audience. This will necessitate the consumerization of technologies that have initially been developed for supercomputers. This talk will review some of the underlying issues, driving trends and promising-looking solutions that will allow engineers and designers to turn today's sci-fi vision into 2020's reality.


Krisztián Flautner is the vice president of research and development at ARM. ARM designs the technology that lies at the heart of advanced digital products with more than twenty billion processors deployed by late 2010. He leads a global team which is focused on the understanding and development of technologies relevant to the proliferation of the ARM architecture. The group’s activities cover a wide breadth of areas ranging from circuits, through processor and system architectures to tools and software. Key activities are related to high-performance computing in energy-constrained environments. Flautner received a PhD in computer science and engineering from the University of Michigan, where he is currently appointed as a visiting scholar. He is a member of the ACM and the IEEE.