Heterogeneous and Non-Traditional Computing

After 50 years of unparalleled success, the general-purpose digital CPUs that have dominated computer system design are reaching their limits. The decline of Moore’s Law, together with transformational advances in technology and physics, the rise of massive data sets, entirely new and broader classes of computational questions and objectives, and increasing concern for energy usage and efficiency, are all driving the field towards radically different computing models and architectures.

Within the traditional digital space, power efficiency and performance are forcing modern computing architectures toward specialization. GPUs, FPGAs, and other accelerators are becoming commonplace, while more novel heterogeneous architectures are on the horizon. Beyond the traditional space, radically new paradigms such as quantum computing, reversible computing and conservative logics, and bio-molecular computing are emerging, and old models such as analog computing and “approximate” technologies are being successfully revisited. And beyond new computing paradigms themselves, applications and application development models must also evolve if we're to fully capture this extraordinary new technical potential.

The challenges facing the field in this transformation reach beyond any individual current CS discipline or research area, requiring instead a multidisciplinary approach. The seminar's goal is to explore these technical trends through both focused and interdisciplinary research presentations, bringing together experts in computer architecture, programming models, systems, and application domains to build collaborations within and outside the Institute.

Of particular interest, we aim to bring two distinct categories of talks to this seminar series. Some seminars will focus specifically on new research in the domain itself, and target ISI researchers in these areas. Others will focus more on how new research results can be leveraged by researchers in other areas, and will target ISI researchers in areas such as vision, NLP, cybersecurity, etc. etc. We very strongly welcome suggestions from any ISIer for particular topics or speakers that you'd find interesting in either category.

Organizers: John Wroclawski, Steve Crago, JP Walters, Andy Schmidt