Fast Chips, Fast Connections
OEMs may soon be able to offer more diverse solutions to bandwidth-hungry users.Chip-to-chip connections should be as easy to scale as connections from city to city. The HyperTransport Technology Consortium (www.hypertransport.org), with royalty-free licensing of its high-speed, input/output hardware specification, gives system builders the same kind of packet-based flexibility inside the box that the Internet has brought to large-scale networks. OEMs using HyperTransport may soon be able to offer more diverse solutions to the needs of bandwidth- hungry users and enterprises, reversing the trend toward "lumpy" technologiesanchored by highly integrated processors and their chip sets and bus designsthat have given designers few real choices other than "How fast?"
The ingenuity of engineers is like the skill of Grand Prix drivers. If you put those racers in rush-hour traffic, they cant do any more than go with the flow; if you put engineers in a technology environment that gives them few real choices, their progress is equally herdlike, with little differentiation between the results achieved by the best and the worst.