ECE Awards Roundup: August 2016

August 11, 2016

From left: Professor Natalie Enright Jerger and Professor Andreas Moshovos

IEEE Micro Top Picks from 2015 Computer Architecture Conferences

Two papers from The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering’s Computer Engineering Group were recognized as “IEEE Micro Top Picks from 2015 Computer Architecture Conferences.” These top picks outline the year’s most significant research papers in computer architecture based on novelty and potential for long-term impact.

Professor Natalie Enright Jerger along with MASc graduate Ajaykumar Kannan and Gabriel H. Loh of AMD were recognized for their paper “Exploiting Interposer Technologies to Disintegrate and Reintegrate Multicore Processors,” presented at the International Symposium on Microarchitecture held in Waikiki, Dec. 5-9, 2015. This paper explores how to disintegrate a multi-core processor on an interposer while addressing the problem of a fragmented network-on-chip (NoC). Many aspects of our society and economy have come to rely on increasing performance from computers. As a result, the building blocks of computer chips, transistors, have continually decreased in size so that more of them can be fit on a chip. As the transistors become smaller, the probability for defects increases. These defects can render the entire chip un-usable, driving up manufacturing costs. “Our work proposes to use an interconnection network through an interposer to assemble a large, multiprocessor out of many separate chips each on a separate die,” says Enright Jerger. “Our approach provides a more economically viable way to realize increased performance compared to current approaches.” This opens the door to some interesting opportunities for NoC designs. “With our interposer-based approach, different chips can be mixed and matched to achieve the desired functionality for different market segments without having to redesign the entire chip,” says Enright Jerger. “This offers flexibility and cost advantages but has yet to be fully explored.”

PhD candidate Joshua San Miguel, supervised by Professor Natalie Enright Jerger, Jorge Albericio, a Post-Doctoral Fellow working with Professor Andreas Moshovos and Andre Seznec of INRIA were recognized for their paper, “Practical Multidimensional Branch Prediction,” presented at the International Symposium on Microarchitecture held in Waikiki, Dec. 5-9, 2015. Their paper aims to improve branch-prediction accuracy so as to increase processor performance and reduce energy consumption. For years, branch predictors have treated applications as merely a single-dimensional sequence of branches.  “We exploit the structure of loops, which are ubiquitous in programming, to represent branches in a multidimensional space instead of a single dimension,” says San Miguel and Albericio.  “By recognizing the loop structure in the code, we propose a new branch prediction scheme that captures patterns and regularity that are difficult (or even impossible) using prior methods.” This new representation of branches greatly improves prediction accuracy and can be implemented as a simple add-on to any state-of-the-art predictor, thus allowing seamless integration into today’s commodity processors.

Kschischang, Frank
Professor Frank Kschischang

IEEE Information Theory Society 2016 Aaron D. Wyner Distinguished Service Award

Professor Frank Kschischang received The Information Theory Society 2016 Aaron D. Wyner Distinguished Service Award on July 12, 2016.  This award honors an individual who has shown outstanding leadership in, and provided long-standing, exceptional service to, the Information Theory community.  Professor Kschischang served as the 2010 President of the IEEE Information Theory Society, was the technical program co-chair for the 2004 IEEE International Symposium on Information Theory (ISIT), Chicago, and the general co-chair for ISIT 2008, Toronto. He is currently Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory.




Aitchison, S
Professor Stewart Aitchison

IEEE Photonics Society Distinguished Lecturer Award

Professor Stewart Atchison was named an IEEE Photonics Society Distinguished lecturer for 2016 – 2017. This award is designed to honour excellent speakers who have made technical, industrial or entrepreneurial contributions of high quality to the field of lasers and electro-optics, and to enhance the technical programs of Photonics Society Chapters.

More information:
Leanne Moss
Communications Assistant
The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering