Chapter 2

Processor Hardware

Computer hardware has progressed rapidly in the past 30 years or so in terms of raw processor speed, architecture, and instruction sets. History has something to teach us, as Table 2.1 shows the state-of-the-art performance figures for a number of machines between 1976 and 1996.

We are talking about performance increases of factors of between approximately 30 and 300 in 20 years, depending on the system, and the same again in the last 20 years.

Moore’s Law

Moore’s Law Giveth and …Taketh Away

The number of users supported, however, has not increased by the same factors in general because of the use of middleware, fourth-generation languages (4GLs), and more complex databases, such as relational structures in native ...

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