Princeton University Public Lectures Series

Louis Clark Vanuxem Lectures

Upcoming ::




Perspectives on High Performance Computer Architecture: History and Challenges

John Hennessy President, Stanford University:

Tuesday April 15, 2003 8:00 pm, McCosh 50:

It has been 32 (=2^5) years since the first microprocessor-based general-purpose computer was built. In the 1970s, microprocessors were low-end, marginal computing engines. Today, microprocessors are the central computing element in the vast majority of computers. These years have seen remarkable progress in the techniques used to make fast microprocessors and in the resulting performance gains. This talk examines the major factors that have contributed to this performance growth, focusing on the exploitation of instruction-level parallelism. We assess the current state-of-the-art and future challenges in maintaining this growth in processor performance. We show that diminishing returns in both instruction level parallelism appear to lead to lower rates of performance improvement in the future. We speculate on what approaches may be most successful in the near term, while arguing that more radical approaches will be needed in the not too distant future.





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About the Louis Clark Vanuxem Foundation:

"Founded [in 1912] with a bequest of $25,000 under the will of Louis Clark Vanuxem of the Class of 1879. By direction of the executors, at least one-half of the income of this foundation is to be used for a series of public lectures before the University annually on subjects of scientific interest. Provision is made for publication of the lectures." Between 1915-1916 and 1958-1959 the catalogues of the University identify the Princeton University Press as the publisher of these lectures.

Lecturers have included Edwin P. Hubble on "The Exploration of Space" (1931-1932); Thomas Mann on "Goethe's Faust" inter alia (1938-1939); James B. Conant on "The Mobilization of American Scientists for the War" (1945-1946); Ralph Ellison on "The Novel in America" (1952-1953); and Carl Sagan on "Extraterrestrial Life" (1972-1973). Vanuxem pursued a career in insurance, eventually specializing in insurance law. He died in 1903.