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Type too fast, melt your processor?

By Noah | September 25, 2010

Not really, of course, but there’s a nice ASPLOS XV paper from Mesa-Martínez et. al. titled Characterizing Processor Thermal Behavior which explains, among other things:

“…each [Emacs] keystroke generates around 1◦ C thermal spike…”

Who knew?  In their tests, the startup phase of Emacs raised the processor temperature in the area being measured (simulated) by 15◦ C.  Most of what’s driving modern trends toward multicore architectures is the tendency for higher speed single core machines to run too hot.  Indeed, I saw one presentation at IBM pointing out that heat densities were passing those found on the surface of a clothes iron!  Anyway, this is an interesting paper if you’re interest in modern processor design.

Topics: Science, Web, Internet, Computing | No Comments »

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