You won’t live to see a 128bit CPU!

27.05.2019 235

No, we are not threatening you. We wish you a long and healthy life. 100 years and more!

You have probably seen the evolution of CPUs – from 16-bit to 32-bit CPUs and later from 32-bit to 64-bit CPUs. The logical question arises – when will 128-bit processors arrive?

128-bit CPU, when talking about computer architecture, means that this processor must have 128-bit integers and a 128-bit bus. It is not x2 better than 64-bit. It is not that simple at all.

While in the past there was a need to address more memory, the current 64-bit CPUs can handle so much RAM that you can’t even imagine. To be precise, the amount is 2^64 bytes or 18.44 exabytes. 1 exabyte is 1 billion gigabytes! You won’t see this amount of RAM probably ever in your life. 4 Gb for a 32-bit system can be sufficient or 8 Gb for normal office work on a 64-bit OS would also work. Some cutting edge devices have 64 Gb or even 128 Gb, but this is required in very few situations like heavy CAT applications or video editing.

We are currently using 64-bit processors, but usually, the bus is not 64 bits. More like 40-bit or 48-bit. This characteristic still has the possibility to improve.

Going to a 128-bit CPU from a 64-bit one will require more memory. We will need a huge cache size. Otherwise, the program will just run slowlier.

It will require a lot more power. Such a processor will be significantly bigger in size and it will release more heat too. This can be very impractical. Literally nobody wants bigger and heavier devices.

The price per wat will also be too expensive. It will be far costlier to create a 128-bit CPU.

Another disadvantage will be the need for a 128-bit OS and drivers. It will be pointless if such a processor can’t be properly utilized. For now neither Microsoft nor Apple are even thinking of creating such an OS.

One of the executives of ARM stated that the company “has no plans for 128-bit ARM-based chips because they simply aren’t needed.”

Surely one day, after many, many years we will start using 128-bits processors, but obviously, it won’t be soon.