Dealing with Memory Latency

Supercomputers are built to solve large, computationally intensive problems.  That means that the primary storage subsystem must both be very large and have a very high bandwidth.  A fast absolute access time is also very highly desirable, but it's been found to be easier to engineer around long latencies than it has to engineer around a lack of storage bandwidth.

My favorite quote about computer architecture comes not from a mathematician or an engineer, but from General Omar Bradley, who is cited as having said "Amateurs talk strategy.  Professionals talk logistics".  To my mind, computer architecture, at least in its turn-of-the-21st-century form, is no longer about instruction execution strategy, but about instruction and operand logistics.

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