As an industry, if real progress is to be made towards the level of computing that the future mandates, then the way computing problems are attacked must change. The von Neumann execution model has and will continue to serve us well, but additional techniques must be brought to bear.
The next logical focus area is data—how it is accessed, and how it is transformed into real information—that leads to newer solutions. No longer can all of memory simply continue to be an element that holds the program commands and data during execution. Memory must become an active part of the solution, rather than a necessary evil.
The first step in what is likely to be a protracted journey is to provide a vehicle that allows it to be exploited independently of the CPU. Rambus is doing just that through the creation of their Smart Data Acceleration (SDA) Research Program.