Computers Yet to Come
When computers were new, vacuum tube logic was very expensive relative to the wires used to communicate between logic units. The intervening 65 years have completely reversed that cost structure. Today, transistor logic is essentially free and communication is the major cost of computing. Wires for communication occupy nearly all chip area, cost most of the delay and, worst of all, charging and discharging wires costs most of the energy computers use. In spite of this complete reversal in the relative cost of logic and communication, there has been little change in how we compute. Programming languages still focus on operations and fail to provide control over communication. Ivan Sutherland will elaborate on possible angles to tackle this ‘mismatch’, for example by moving algorithms from software to hardware. We’re long overdue for a fresh look at the architecture of computing systems. ‘Computers yet to come’ will be very different from those of today.
About Ivan Sutherland
Ivan Sutherland received his PhD from MIT in 1963. With a well-known thesis, called Sketchpad, he was involved in what was the first graphical computer interface. He holds ACMʼs Turing Award (the ‘Nobel prize of computing’) and the Kyoto Prize. Ivan is a full time Visiting Scientist in the Asynchronous Research Center at Portland State University, and holds more than 60 patents. Dr. Sutherland is a member of both the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Sciences.
About ‘Friday afternoon lectures’
Gilles Holst, first Director of the famous Philips Natlab, already proclaimed in one of his official research reports, ‘researchers with sufficient freedom and an open mind are most likely to be successful’. We – Baltan Laboratories, Holst Centre, TU Eindhoven, EIT ICT Labs and High Tech Campus Eindhoven believe this original vision for the Natlab could easily be forgotten in these times of increased specialization. Proactively addressing this issue, we committed ourselves to setting up a series of lectures that revive the original Natlab spirit. Are you a researcher, artist, designer or any other creative and inspired enthusiast? Then you should not miss out on this unique occasion to become inspired by top-notch speakers and to meet with like-minded souls.