Limits of Information Processing Systems

  • Robert W. Keyes
Part of the Frontiers of Computing Systems Research book series (FCSR, volume 2)


The explosive increase in the power of computers through the past three decades is well-known and well-documented; see, for example, [1,2,3]. Computers are systems, in the sense that they are built from a large number of components that must all work together to attain a desired end.1 The design and performance of such a complex system of many components has not yet been brought under the rule of quantitative science. Indeed, there are many aspects of system design that are matters of subjective opinion, and upon which responsible designers differ. Here we propose to identify widely applicable features of computer systems that are related to the physical nature of the world, and then to inquire into the role of those physical characteristics in limiting the size, performance, and extendibility of computational systems.


Heat Transfer Coefficient Information Processing System Main Memory Bipolar Transistor Memory Hierarchy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert W. Keyes
    • 1
  1. 1.IBM Research DivisionYorktown HeightsUSA

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