Is Hardware Innovation Over?

Sunday, April 16, 2006
7:00 PM
Free and open to the public

Does the spread of multicore architectures mean the demise of Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASIC)? Power constrained, handheld devices may be one of the most important economic drivers for the semiconductor industry in the coming decades. Will the future cell phone functionality be delivered primarily through multi-core processors? Or will it be through reconfigurable FPGAs or a system composed of heterogeneous blocks? We will describe how it is possible to synthesize, quickly and efficiently, large and complex SoCs from a library of microarchitectural IP blocks, including embedded PowerPC models, DSPs and a variety of specialized hardware blocks (radios, MPEG4 decoders, ...). Our project, will provide, among other things, PowerPC for others to use, and will shed light on how IP blocks should be written to be easily modifiable and reusable.

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Johnson Professor of Computer Science and Engineering
Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, MIT