Comp Arch Lessons from Multiflow and Intel x86

Monday, November 18, 2013
6:00 PM
POB 2.402
Free and open to the public

Modern processors are ridiculously complicated. If you really want to understand them, it's good to back off and reduce them to their essentials. VLIWs are interesting machines because all they HAVE in hardware is basics, especially the early VLIWs like Multiflow's. This talk will cover Multiflow's history and product design, to elucidate some processor ground truths. I'll also throw in other observations, and some x86 lessons from my Intel experiences. And who knows what else. Ask questions. We'll all be surprised.

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Robert Colwell

Robert Colwell

Director, Microsystems Technology Office

Dr. Robert (Bob) Colwell joined the Microsystems Technology Office in April 2011 as the Deputy Director.  His interests include architectural and hardware engineering, CPUs, chipsets, buses, memories, and electronics.

Before joining DARPA, Dr. Colwell worked as a consultant specializing in general computer HW/SW consulting to industry and academia.  From 1990 – 2001, Dr. Colwell worked for the Intel Corporation and served as Chief Architect (IA32) responsible for all of Intel's Pentium CPU architecture efforts.  He also initiated and led Intel's Pentium 4 CPU development.  In 1997, Dr. Colwell was named an Intel Fellow, the highest technical grade at the company.

Dr. Colwell was a member of the technical staff at Bell Labs from 1977 to 1980, working on the BellMac series of microprocessors.

Dr. Colwell has been a recipient of the Eckert-Mauchly Award for “outstanding achievements in the design and implementation of industry-changing microarchitectures, and for significant contributions to the RISC/CISC architecture debate.  In addition, Dr. Colwell was elected to IEEE Fellow and the National Academy of Engineering for “contributions to turning novel computer architecture concepts into viable, cutting-edge commercial processors.”

From 2006 – 2009, Dr. Colwell was selected as member of ISAT (Information Systems Advanced Technology) and co-chaired Machine Learning on Multicore in 2009.  Having written over two dozen publications and one book, Dr. Colwell has been an invited speaker by DARPA, Google, and multiple universities.  He is the inventor/co-inventor on 40 patents and is a recipient of the Carnegie-Mellon Distinguished Alumni Fellows Award and an Alumni Achievement Award from the University of Pittsburgh.

On September 24, 2012, Dr. Colwell became the new Director for the Microsystems Technology office.

Dr. Colwell received a BSEE from the University of Pittsburgh, and both his MSEE and PhD from Carnegie-Mellon University.