Reevaluating Amdahl's law in the multicore era

Xian He Sun, Yong Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

140 Scopus citations


Microprocessor architecture has entered the multicore era. Recently, Hill and Marty presented a pessimistic view of multicore scalability. Their analysis was based on Amdahl's law (i.e. fixed-workload condition) and challenged readers to develop better models. In this study, we analyze multicore scalability under fixed-time and memory-bound conditions and from the data access (memory wall) perspective. We use the same hardware cost model of multicore chips used by Hill and Marty, but achieve very different and more optimistic performance models. These models show that there is no inherent, immovable upper bound on the scalability of multicore architectures. These results complement existing studies and demonstrate that multicore architectures are capable of extensive scalability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-188
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Parallel and Distributed Computing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2010


  • Memory wall
  • Multicore architecture
  • Scalability
  • Scalable computing


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