Computer architecture encompasses the structure, organization, implementation, and performance of the basic building blocks of computer systems. The department's architecture research answers the following kinds of questions:
- How should we design multicore systems that are easier to program?
- How do we make computer systems use less energy?
- How do we make systems more reliable?
- What will the structure and organization of future computers look like?
- What are the limits to performance on current machines?
- How can we remove the limits to performance?
- How do we evaluate the performance of systems?
- How can we build architectures to leverage alternative computing substrates (e.g., DNA)?
The architecture group has a history of impactful and innovative thinking. The now-pervasive simultaneous multithreading was developed here at CSE. The WaveScalar project has shown that imperative programs can run in a data-flow fashion in a highly scalable architecture. Finally, we have recently shown that it is possible to make multicore systems more reliable without removing inherent determinism and without compromising performance.These technologies have been licensed by UW's Center for Commercialization, demonstrating their benefit and impact.