In a recent paper in IEEE Micro special issue on Big Chips, July 2011, EcoCloud researchers project that server chips will not scale beyond a few tens to low hundreds of cores, and an increasing fraction of the chip in future technologies will be dark silicon that one cannot afford to power. Specialized on-chip architectures can leverage the underutilized die area to overcome the initial power barrier, delivering significantly higher performance for the same bandwidth and power envelopes.

For more information see, Toward Dark Silicon in Servers by Hardavellas et al., in IEEE Micro, July of 2011.