Title: Efficiency and Parallelism: The Challenges of Future Computing

Bill Dally

Tuesday, May 6th, 10am
Panther Hollow, CIC


The computing demands of mobile devices, data centers, and HPC are increasing exponentially. At the same time, the end of Dennard scaling has slowed the rate of improvement and made all computing power limited, so that performance is determined by energy efficiency. With improvements in semiconductor process technology offering little increase in efficiency, innovations in architecture and circuits are required to maintain the expected performance scaling. The large scale parallelism and deep storage hi-erarchy of future machines poses programming challenges. This talk will discuss these challenges of efficiency and parallelism in more detail and introduce some of the technologies being developed to address them.


Bill is a Professor (Research) of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering and former chair of Computer Science at Stan-ford University and Chief Scientist and Senior Vice President of Research at NVIDIA Corporation. Bill and his group have developed system architecture, network architecture, signaling, routing, and synchronization technology that can be found in most large parallel computers today. At Stanford University his group has developed the Imagine processor, which introduced the concepts of stream processing and partitioned register or-ganizations, the Merrimac supercomput-er, which led to GPU computing, and the ELM low-power processor. Bill has worked with Cray Research and Intel to incorporate many of these innovations in commercial parallel computers, with Avici Systems to incorporate this technology into Internet routers, co-founded Velio Communications to commercialize high-speed signaling technology, and co-founded Stream Processors, Inc. to commercialize stream processor technology. He is a Member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the IEEE, a Fellow of the ACM, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has received the ACM Eckert-Mauchly Award, the IEEE Seymour Cray Award, and the ACM Maurice Wilkes award. He currently leads projects on computer architecture, network architecture, and programming systems. He has published over 200 papers in these areas, holds over 80 issued patents, and is an author of the textbooks, Digital Design: A Systems Approach, Digital Systems Engineering, and Principles and Practices of Interconnection Networks.