ECE News Story
Vishkin Granted Additional Patent for Many Core Computing Technology
Professor Uzi Vishkin has been awarded U.S. Patent 7,523,293, issued on April 21, 2009, for his invention, titled "Spawn-join instruction set architecture for providing explicit multithreading." This patent allows 30 more claims on Vishkin’s original U.S. patent 6,463,527 for extending technology related to the emerging generation of many core desktop computers.
Specifically, Vishkin's inventions have extended the von-Neumann control apparatus. Withstanding the test of time as the clock speed of the computer improved by a factor of nearly a million from KHz scale to GHz scale, the von-Neumann control apparatus can be found at the heart of every commercially successful general-purpose computer ever built. However, the von-Neumann apparatus is also quite limiting. In his 1977 ACM Turing award lecture, John Backus coined the term “von Neumann Bottleneck” to refer to the “intellectual bottleneck that has kept us tied to word-at-a-time.”
A ready-to-execute standard computer program consists of a sequence of instructions, which like sentences in text, follow one another. The von-Neumann apparatus comprises the computer program, as it is stored in the computer memory, and a "head" called the program counter. The program executes by fetching one instruction at a time so that the head can read and execute it.
Technology constraints turned vendors to manufacture computers with an increasing number of processors (also called cores) to speed up the function of the computer. In order to fulfill the promise of many core computing, a new control apparatus is needed to “orchestrate these processors.” Foreseeing the need for such an apparatus, Vishkin invented in 1997 a new way for building and programming computers that comprise such an apparatus.
His original 2002 patent has received significant attention from vendors. It has already been referenced in 15 patents by Intel, and several patents from SUN and NVidia.
Learn more about Prof. Vishkin's technology at the U.S. Patent site.
May 19, 2009