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Colloquium - Chen

The Desktop: Frontiers in Systems Research
J. Bradley Chen
Google, Inc.
2/25/2010
3:30pm-4:30pm

Desktop software, in the form of web browsers, browser features, and OS distributions, are a growing area of engineering activity at Google. This talk will give an overview of this work, looking in detail at Native Client as an example project in the space. Native Client is an open-source research technology for running x86 native code in web applications, with the goal of maintaining the browser neutrality, OS portability, and safety that people expect from web apps. It supports performance-oriented features generally absent from web application programming environments, such as thread support, instruction set extensions such as SSE, and use of compiler intrinsics and hand-coded assembler. We combine these properties in an open architecture designed to leverage existing web standards, and to encourage community review and third-party tools. Overall, Google's desktop efforts seek to enable new Web applications, improve end-user experience, and enable a more flexible balance between client and server computing. Google has open sourced many of our desktop efforts, in part to encourage collaboration and independent innovation.

J. Bradley Chen manages the Native Client project at Google, where he has also worked on cluster performance analysis projects. Prior to joining Google, he was Director of the Performance Tools Lab in Intel's Software Products Division. Chen served on the faculty of Harvard University from 1994-1998, conducting research in operating systems, computer architecture and distributed system, and teaching a variety of related graduate and undergraduate courses. He has published widely on the subjects of systems performance and computer architecture. Dr. Chen has bachelors and masters degrees from Stanford University and a PhD from Carnegie Mellon University.

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