Electrical & Computer Engineering     |     Carnegie Mellon

Wednesday, April 30, 12:30-1:30 p.m. HH-1112

Sharad Malik
Princeton University

Fully Programmable Systems: The Future of Application Specific Systems

A variety of diverse pressures are shaping how we will design digital systems in the near future. Shrinking geometries into the deep submicron range raise electrical design challenges that make it impossible to use existing methodologies for application specific system design. In addition, the corresponding exponential increase in the number of devices per chip results in a complexity problem which by itself threatens to cripple existing design methodologies. Finally, increased non-recurring engineering costs for masks and design tools force designs to be limited to higher volume products. All of these point to a gradual reduction of designs done using conventional ASIC (application specific integrated circuits) design methodology.

I will first argue as to why this points to an increase in systems that contain programmable components that are specialized for a specific application domain, while at the same time providing design flexibility that permits the same device to be used for a range of related products and also generations of a product. A key aspect of these systems is the use of on chip multi-processing systems - made possible by silicon availability and required by product performance requirements. I will then describe the MESCAL (Modern Embedded Systems: Compilers, Architectures and Languages) project that is focussed on developing a complete set of design tools as well as methodology for the design of fully programmable systems of the future.

Sharad Malik received the B. Tech. degree in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, India in 1985 and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley in 1987 and 1990 respectively. Currently he is Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering, Princeton University. His current research interests are: design tools for embedded computer systems, synthesis and verification of digital systems. He has received the President of India's Gold Medal for academic excellence (1985), the IBM Faculty Development Award (1991), an NSF Research Initiation Award (1992), Princeton University Rhinestone Faculty Award (1994), the NSF Young Investigator Award (1994), Best Paper Award at the IEEE International Conference on Computer Design (1992) and at the ACM/IEEE Design Automation Conference (1996), the Walter C. Johnson Prize for Teaching Excellence (1993) and the Princeton University Engineering Council Excellence in Teaching Award (1993, 1994, 1995). He serves/has served on the program committees of DAC, ICCAD and ICCD. He is serving as the technical program co-chair for DAC in 2000 and 2001. He is on the editorial boards of the Journal of VLSI Signal Processing and Design Automation for Embedded Systems.