Digital Design: Beyond Trial and Error

Posted in Conferences, Companies, Science on September 17, 2008



With few exceptions, the design of digital systems -- both hardware and software -- is based on trial and error, and it is this aspect of digital design that we must move beyond in order to achieve a fundamental advance in the reliability and security of the systems we create. In this talk, we take a critical look at the problem from the perspective of other engineering disciplines in which: (a) design is not trial and error but instead is based on rigorous mathematical principles and (b) concurrency is expressed in a natural and transparent way. From this critical analysis, we identify four requirements for a methodology to take us beyond trial and error. We then give an overview of a methodology that meets those requirements.

Speaker: Fred Furtek
Dr. Furtek has broad experience in both hardware and software development with special expertise in reconfigurable multi-core processors, massively parallel algorithms and the mathematics of concurrency. He was among the first to work in the area of formal verification (The MITRE Corporation and The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory). He was also one of a handful of individuals to recognize the potential of reconfigurable hardware, and subsequently founded a field-programmable-gate-array company (Concurrent Logic) whose technology has been licensed to several major companies (Apple Computer, National Semiconductor and IBM) and which was ultimately purchased by another semiconductor company (Atmel Corporation). Later, he led pioneering efforts to establish formal modeling and verification as an integral part of the digital design process (Interval Research and Applied Combinatorics). He was also involved in pioneering efforts to develop new computing platforms based on reconfigurable, multi-core architectures unrivaled in price/performance and energy efficiency (QuickSilver Technology and Rapport, Inc.). Most recently, he developed an innovative tool -- in which hardware and software are indistinguishable -- that maps sequential programs onto a multi-core processor fabric (Rapport, Inc.). Dr. Furtek holds a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering, as well as a master's and doctorate in computer science, all from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has 23 issued U.S. patents and 4 pending U.S. patents.

Google Tech Talks
August 19, 2008

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