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Colloquium - Patt

The Microprocessor in the Year 2015 -- Issues, Challenges, Potential Avenues to Solutions
University of Texas at Austin

The first time I gave this talk (not really THIS talk), the year was 1985 and the title was "The Microprocessor in the Year 1995." Moore's law was promising 10 million transistors on a chip and the question was what to do with all that potential. Some gurus said "Give it up. We've reached the end of line." But, we didn't give up, and ten years later, we had Pentium Pro, for example.

Time passes, Moore's Law continues to be alive and well, and we continue to look ten years out. At HPCA less than two months ago, a senior Intel computer architect promised 10 to 50 billion transistors by 2015. Even in the near term, we will soon see one billion transistors on a chip, running at a frequency in excess of 10 GHz. With such potential, a lot of problems that were minor in the past are now starting to drive chip design. Like power consumption, off chip delay to memory, on chip delays, effectiveness of deep pipelines, etc. And, still some gurus say, "Give it up." This talk looks at the above, explains the issues and suggests avenues that could make a difference.

Yale Patt is Professor of ECE and the Ernest Cockrell, Jr. Centennial Chair in Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. He directs the research of 13 PhD students in high performance computer architecture and implementation, and enjoys teaching both large undergraduate classes and small advanced graduate seminars. He has, for more than 35 years, combined an active research program with extensive consulting in industry and a strong commitment to teaching. The research he has conducted with his students has had major impact on the microprocessor industry. HPS (the integration of wide-issue, speculative, out-of-order execution, and in-order retirement), the two-level branch predictor, and SSMT (more commonly called helper threads) are three examples.

Dr. Patt has received many awards for his research and teaching, including the IEEE Emmanuel R. Piore Medal in 1995, the IEEE/ACM Eckert-Mauchly Award in 1996, the IEEE Wallace W. McDowell Award in 1999, and the ACM Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award, in 2000. His vital concern for how we introduce computing to computer science and engineering majors has led to "Introduction to Computing Systems, from Bits and Gates to C and Beyond," co-authored with Professor Sanjay Patel of Illinois. Yale Patt earned his BS at Northeastern and MS and PhD at Stanford, all in electrical engineering. He is a Fellow of both the IEEE and of the ACM.

Department of Computer Science
University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0430 USA
May 5, 2012 (14:13)