A Faster Computer Simulator

Tuesday, September 30, 2008 - 7:00pm

Dr. Derek Chiou displays a motherboard that includes reconfigurable hardware he is using to develop a simulator that is thousands of times faster than current simulators. Once developed, the new simulator will enable computer architects and users to better evaluate the complex behavior of computer systems. Chiou received a $300,000 Department of Energy grant for the research.

Dr. Chiou has been awarded a $400K National Science Foundation CAREER award, a prestigious honor which recognizes promising young faculty members. The five-year grant will be used to further develop his proposal entitled Transforming Computer System Design.

Chiou’s primary goal is to dramatically improve the expensive and time-consuming process of architecting, implementing and verifying the hardware, system software and application software when building or using computer systems. The CAREER project aims to automatically transform written simulators, using Dr. Chiou’s current simulation methodology, into complete implementations.

Traditionally, developing a computer system requires at least three separate simulators: one to accurately and flexibly simulate an initial design, a second to accurately implement the system, and a third to quickly develop software applications. If successful, the CAREER grant research would eliminate the need to write two of the simulators, including the most difficult one, the implementation.