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Georgia Tech Announces Plans for New Manycore Computing Research Center

The Georgia Institute of Technology, a national leader in high-performance computing research and education, announced plans for the creation of the Georgia Tech Center for Manycore Computing, a research center for innovations in computer architecture.

A collaborative effort between the Georgia Tech Colleges of Computing and Engineering, the Center for Manycore Computing (CMC) will address deep, foundational challenges in programming, design and systems development to overcome power and architecture barriers to the progression of computer performance.

“Our mission at the Center for Manycore Computing is to establish a research agenda that looks well-beyond the short-term and develops innovative and applicable solutions to future limitations on computing progress,” said Tom Conte, professor and director of the planned Georgia Tech Center for Manycore Computing. “By projecting out decades, we can better ensure sustained growth in the power, speed and capabilities of technologies that drive worldwide social and economic growth.”

Under the premise of Moore’s Law, the number of transistors able to be placed on an integrated circuit doubles every two years – yielding an exponential increase in the speed, power and memory of computing technologies over time. While computer architects and engineers continue to chart computing progress against Moore’s Law, power and design limitations threaten the ability of the technology industry to sustain its momentum. One solution to such challenges is the “manycore approach” – creating a chip composed of hundreds to thousands of light-weight core processors operating in parallel to advance the processing of ever higher-data, higher-power operations and applications.

Manycore computing will enable computing functions that are impossible today. For example, in the emerging field of mobile robotics, manycore computing would allow exponentially enhanced functionality of the robot, leading to its ability to better assess, react to and manipulate its surroundings. Other prime areas for manycore application include embedded computing, data search and analysis, and gaming/multimedia, among others.

“Georgia Tech’s deep domain expertise at all levels of the computing spectrum – from applications and architecture down to circuits and silicon – position the Institute as a natural leader in the emerging research area of manycore computing,” said Dr. Mark Allen, senior vice provost for Research and Innovation at Georgia Tech. “The interdisciplinary environment fostered by the College of Computing’s School of Computer Science and the College of Engineering’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering enable our world-class researchers and faculty to revolutionize the field of computer architecture and how it is analyzed, taught and studied.”

As part of its mission, the CMC will also look at new ways to incorporate parallel programming and advanced architectures into its core undergraduate computing classes. By teaching today’s students to “think in parallel” at an earlier age, tomorrow’s leaders will be better able to develop the advancements needed to maintain the exponential growth rate for computing performance for decades to come.

Stefany Wilson | Newswise Science News
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