Babak Falsafi is a Professor in the School of Computer and Communication Sciences at EPFL (http://ic.epfl.ch/page-5735-en.html), and an Adjunct Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering and Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon. He is the founding director of the EcoCloud research center at EPFL (http://www.ecocloud.ch/) innovating future energy-efficient and environmentally friendly cloud technologies. His research targets design for dark silicon, architectural support for parallel programming, resilient systems, architectures to break the memory wall, and analytic and simulation tools for computer system performance evaluation.
Information technology is now an indispensable pillar of a modern-day society, thanks to the proliferation of digital platforms in the past several decades. While demand for computing is increasing at unprecedented levels, the digital platforms (i.e., servers and datacenters) that form the backbone of IT have hit an energy “wall”. In the past decades, as chip densities increased, individual transistors also become more energy-efficient, enabling designers to exploit the increase in transistors to enhance chip functionality and perceived performance. While chip densities are projected to continue to scale well into the next decade, transistor energy efficiency has slowed down, resulting in a paradigm shift in computing to “dark silicon” where only a fraction of a chip’s transistors can be powered up at any given time. In this talk, I will present evidence to motivate this paradigm shift, and describe its implications on computing.