What is architectural innovation?
Architectural innovation involves taking design elements and using them in a novel way. An example from consumer electronics was the smart watch where existing mobile phone technologies were combined with digital watch display technology to create a new class of product.
In the processor sphere, a well-known area of innovation was replacing a single core with a multi-core system. Such systems mitigated the slowing down of semiconductor scaling.
Innovation in processors is also possible with novel ideas for a core. Such innovation can be in the instruction set, the design of computational units, security features as well as memory subsystems. Examples of innovation breakthroughs in the past include RISC, VLIW and dataflow architectures.