Why Design Must Change: Rethinking Digital Design
Design is so expensive we canít afford to spend it on creating a single chip. Working out the interactions in a complex design is challenging and costs a lot of money, even when we do it well. The key is to leverage this work over a broader range of chips Ė we need to design chip-generators and not chips. One creates a virtual programmable chip (the generator) that is MUCH more flexible than any real chip (it has no resource constraints) and the application designer (the new chip designer) then configures this system to produce a customized chip at low cost. While there are many hard problems that need to be addressed to make this work, none seem insurmountable. I will present some recent examples from my group which indicate the promise of this approach - including improving the energy efficiency of a H.264 encoder by 200x, and validating a chip generator.
Mark Horowitz, Stanford University