cycle of reincarnation
A term coined by Ivan Sutherland ca. 1970 to refer to a well-known effect
whereby function in a computing system family is migrated out to special-purpose
peripheral hardware for speed, then the peripheral evolves toward more computing
power as it does its job, then somebody notices that it is inefficient to
support two asymmetrical processors in the architecture and folds the function
back into the main CPU, at which point the cycle begins again.
Several iterations of this cycle have been observed in graphics-processor
(blitter) design, and at least one or two in communications and floating-point
processors. Also known as "the Wheel of Life", "the Wheel of Samsara" and other
variations of the basic Hindu/Buddhist theological idea.
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