Browse Prior Art Database

Future Directions in Computer Architecture Disclosure Number: IPCOM000131286D
Original Publication Date: 1978-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-10
Document File: 16 page(s) / 55K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

Mario J. Gonzalez, Jr.: AUTHOR [+3]


The University of Texas at San Antonio

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 7% of the total text.

Page 1 of 16


This record contains textual material that is copyright ©; 1978 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact the IEEE Computer Society (714-821-8380) for copies of the complete work that was the source of this textual material and for all use beyond that as a record from the SPI Database.

Future Directions in Computer Architecture

Mario J. Gonzalez, Jr.

The University of Texas at San Antonio

Designers must strive for a top-down, application-driven approach to digital system design. And new methods are needed for analytically exploring design tradeoffs in the context of changing technology and the multitude of highly concurrent systems technology will make possible. These were among the principal themes to arise from the Workshop on Future Directions in Computer Architecture, held November 16-17, 1977, at the University of Texas at Austin. Sponsored by the Special Interest Group on Computer Architecture of the ACM, the Technical Committee on Computer Architecture of the IEEE Computer Society, and The University of Texas at Austin with the support of the National Science Foundation, the meeting was aimed at identifying nearterm trends in computer architecture research and development. Following opening addresses by Zilog President Frederico Faggin and ACM President Herb Grosch, the workshop divided into seven sequential sessions (Table 1).

This report is based on session summaries presented by the respective session chairmen in a final meeting. The selection of the seven topics was guided by questionnaires received from the participants before the workshop. The summaries attempt to reflect the consensus of the groups, not necessarily the opinion of the session chairman making the summary.

Digital system design tools -- Mario Gonzalez

The primary directions being taken in the area of design tools are to (1) minimize design costs,
(2) optimize the design, and (3} shorten the lead time. These thrusts are hardly new or revolutionary, but they are nonetheless important. To achieve such objectives, we need a family of description languages which can be used at different levels of precision and abstraction. In addition to this family of languages, a readily available and expandable data base of hardware, software, and firmware building blocks should be created and described.

This family of languages should also describe performance, function, and testability at each level, with compatible interfaces between levels. These goals may be difficult, but they are desirable nonetheless. Fortunately, it is not necessary to realize these goals in their entirety; partial achievement with respect to a particular environment may be sufficient for the necessary complement of design tools.

In the area of computer performance and evaluation, it was the session consensus that the observations developed at an ACM/NBS work...