Defense Event

Customizing the Computation Capabilities of Microprocessors

Nathan T. Clark

Friday, July 13, 2007
11:00am - 1:00pm
3725 Beyster Bldg. Bldg.

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About the Event

Consumers will always demand more performance from their computer systems. Real-time ray tracing and speech recognition are just two of the many compelling applications that remain outside of the computational capabilities of current computers. Recently, however, the traditional method of attaining performance through higher processor clock frequencies has driven power consumption to a point where it is too expensive to cool the processors. This trend, known as the Power Wall, has led to a focus on computational efficiency (getting the most work out of each joule) as a key metric in computer system designs. This talk will describe some of my work on making computation more efficient by customizing processors. First, I will present the design of a novel accelerator specifically targeted to execute the most common computation patterns from a wide range of applications. Next, I will describe a virtualization technique to make integrating the accelerator into computer systems as cost-effective as possible. Finally, I will demonstrate how the accelerator design and virtualization ideas generalize to a much broader set of accelerators, and discuss some preliminary results and future directions in this area.

Additional Information

Sponsor(s): S. Mahlke

Open to: Limited