The demand for faster processors, memory and I/O is a familiar refrain in market applications ranging from personal computers and servers to networking systems and from video games to office automation equipment. Once information is digitized, the speed at which it is processed becomes the foremost determinate of product success. Faster system speed leads to faster processing. Faster processing leads to faster system performance. Faster system performance results in greater success in the marketplace. This obvious logic has led a generation of processor and memory designers to focus on one overriding objective - squeezing more speed from processors and memory devices. Processor designers have responded with faster clock rates and super pipelined architectures that use level 1 and level 2 caches to feed faster execution units even faster. Memory designers have responded with dual data rate memories that allow data access on both the leading and trailing clock edges doubling data access. I/O developers have responded by designing faster and wider I/O channels and introducing new protocols to meet anticipated I/O needs. Today, processors hit the market with 2+ GHz clock rates, memory devices provide sub5 ns access times and standard I/O buses are 32- and 64-bit wide, with new higher speed protocols on the horizon.Increased processor speeds, faster memories, and wider I/O channels are not always practical answers to the need for speed. The main problem is integration of more and faster system elements. Faster execution units, faster memories and wider, faster I/O buses lead to crowding of more high-speed signal lines onto the physical printed circuit board. One aspect of the integration problem is the physical problems posed by speed.
Hyper Transport technology has been designed to provide system architects with significantly more bandwidth, low-latency responses, lower pin counts, compatibility with legacy PC buses, extensibility to new SNA buses, and transparency to operating system software, with little impact on peripheral drivers.