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Designing SOCs with Configured Cores by Steve Leibson

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1.9. System-Design Evolution

Semiconductor advances achieved through the relentless application of Moore’s law have significantly influenced the evolution of system design since microprocessors became ubiquitous in the 1980s. Figure 1.10 shows how minimum microprocessor feature size has tracked Moore’s law since the introduction of the Intel 4004, which used 10-micron (10,000-nm) lithography. The figure also incorporates ITRS 2005 (International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductor) projections to the year 2020, when the minimum feature size is expected to be an incredibly tiny 14 nm. Each reduction in feature size produces a corresponding increase in the number of transistors that will fit on a chip. Presently, Intel’s dual-core Itanium-2 microprocessor ...

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