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What's Hot? Post-Moore Datacenter Architecture

Speaker: Babak Falsafi EcoCloud at EPFL
Time: 2023-09-12 15:00-2023-09-12 16:00
Venue: FIT 1-315


Datacenters are the pillars of a digital economy and modern-day global IT services. The building blocks for today's datacenters are cost-effective volume servers that find their roots in the basic hardware and OS organization of the desktops of 90s with a fundamental mismatch with datacenter workloads and services. Meanwhile, there are many technological trends (e.g., slowdown in Moore's Law), application trends (e.g., rapid adoption of AI) and societal challenges (e.g., climate impact of computing) that dictate innovation in datacenter design from algorithms to housing infrastructure. Post-Moore datacenters are hot because of both their trajectory to consume (and dissipate) unprecedented levels of energy and the many hot research avenues to pursue for an infrastructure whose building blocks belong to the 90s. In this talk, I will motivate and go over these research avenues.

Short Bio:

Babak is a Professor and founder of EcoCloud at EPFL. His contributions to computer systems include the first NUMA multiprocessors built by Sun Microsystems (WildFire/WildCat), memory streaming integrated in IBM BlueGene (temporal) and ARM cores (spatial), and performance evaluation methodologies in use by AMD, HP and Google PerfKit. He has shown that memory consistency models are neither necessary nor sufficient to achieve high performance in servers. These results led to fence speculation in modern CPUs. His work on workload-optimized server processors laid the foundation for the first generation of Cavium ARM server CPUs, ThunderX. He is a recipient of an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, and a fellow of ACM and IEEE.