Boris Grot
Thu 28 Feb 2019, 14:00 - 15:00

If you have a question about this talk, please contact: Steph Smith (ssmith32)

Talk Title: Better Hardware in the Post-Moore Era? Look to the Software!

Talk abstract: As Moore’s Law grinds to a halt, the days of easy performance improvements enabled by rapid growth in transistor budgets are over. While in narrow domains, custom accelerators can be used to improve performance and energy-efficiency, there is no silver bullet for broad application domains such as mobile or servers. The server domain, in particular, poses a significant challenge because explosive growth in data volumes and an increasing diversity of applications that are powered by this data (often in an online setting) demand ever-higher performance from stagnating hardware.

In this talk, I will argue that the path to future improvements in hardware efficiency is paved with insights about software behaviour. I will further argue that with the end of the road for transistor scaling looming ahead, software can and should be used to ease the hardware’s burden – an idea that harks back to the early (transistor-constrained!) days of computer architecture. To demonstrate the potential of software-centric hardware design for servers, I will overview several recent projects from my research group.

Bio: Boris Grot is a Reader in the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh. His research seeks to address efficiency bottlenecks and capability shortcomings of processing platforms for data-intensive applications. Boris is a member of the MICRO Hall of Fame, and several of his papers have been honoured with Best Paper awards or nominations. Prior to Edinburgh, Boris spent two years as a post-doctoral researcher at EPFL. He holds a PhD in Computer Science from The University of Texas at Austin.