CRA Board Member Timothy Pinkston is featured in this week’s “People of ACM.” The series highlights the unique scientific accomplishments and compelling personal attributes of ACM members who are making a difference in advancing computing as a science and a profession. In the Q&A, Pinkston discusses topics such as what prompted him to establish his research group, deadlock-free adaptive routing techniques, the importance of CISE’s Expeditions in Computing program, and efforts to broaden participation in computing.
From the highlight:
What prompted you to establish the SMART Interconnects Group at USC, and how did it fill a need that wasn’t being addressed within the computer architecture field?
The continual, exponential growth of computing and computing performance comes, in large part, from our ability to exploit parallelism, such as with manycore multiprocessors. Such parallel processing systems can take on different form factors, functionality, capabilities, and performance ranging from implantable/wearable biomedical devices for facilitating personalized healthcare; to embedded/smart-sensor devices for facilitating efficient transportation and sustainable civil infrastructure; to laptops, tablets/pads, and smart handhelds for facilitating productivity and entertainment; to throughput-intensive cloud servers and datacenters for facilitating data mining, social media and e-commerce; to high performance supercomputers for facilitating scientific discovery and many other socioeconomic applications that impact humanity across numerous societal sectors.
Effectively exploiting parallelism from the proliferation of processor cores and other computing components enabled by technology advancements and leveraged by computer architectures hinges on how well the movement of data among various multiple components is supported by the system’s interconnection network. The SMART Interconnects Group has worked toward advancing designs that enable scalable and reliable communication between burgeoning on-chip and systemwide components, to achieve high levels of performance and power efficiency using only minimal resources and cost as required.