Assessing Trends in Performance per Watt[-1pt] for Signal Processing Applications

We present a survey and analysis of processor power efficiency, showing results from the first personal computer until the present day that analyzes the metric of multiply– accumulate (MAC) energy per operation. MAC performance is critical for continued scaling of signal processing applications.

We derive our results from published work and published CPU databases, and we hypothesize that a Powerwall exists, above which we do not predict Moore’s law will bring the current digital computing paradigm. Our results show that this Powerwall exists in a band from $10$ to 30 GMAC/W.