Mr. Hennessy & Mr. Patterson recognized by Turing Award for their Pioneering RISC Approach in Computing

John L. Hennessy

Former president of Stanford University, John Hennessy, along with his long-time collaborator David Patterson, a computer science professor emeritus at University of California, Berkeley, has been awarded the Turing Award 2017. The award is attributed to Mr. Hennessy’s work that pioneered an approach toward computer architecture, coupled with its influence on the microprocessor advancements.

RISC Chips – Standard for Computer Servers and Workstations

Currently, nearly all among over 16 Bn microprocessors manufactured worldwide are based adhered to the lower power, faster approaches developed primarily by these 2018 Turing Award winners, Mr. Patterson and Mr. Hennessy. These intellects have always been interested in simpler chip designs, as they offered fast processing, consumed less power, facilitated operations of chip designers, and enabled faster evolution of machines. The RISC chips primarily emerged from the Silicon Valley startups namely, MIPS Technologies and Sun Microsystems, which later transformed into the standard for computer servers and workstations, underpinning massive corporate operations.

These processors, eventually eclipsed by chips developed by Intel, are deemed as considerable muscle behind the competing design. However, more and more chips employed designs of a British company, ARM – Advanced RISC Machine. With the book written by these Turing Award winners, “Computer Architecture – A Quantitative Approach” becoming the standard for chip design, Intel took partial step forward toward RISC idea. The company’s chips then witnessed continuous demand in computers.

Mr. Patterson and Mr. Hennessy to be Granted US$ 1 Mn by Turing Award

Current President of Stanford University, Marc Tessier-Lavigne stated that recognition of Mr. Patterson’s and Mr. Hennessy’s radical research by the Turing Prize is exciting and gratifying, which has revolutionized the overall industry for several decades. Awarded by Association for Computing Machinery, the Turing Award is associated with US$ 1 Mn prize in the name of Alan M. Turing, a British mathematician who contemplated the limits and mathematical foundation of computing.

Hennessy stated that the Turing Award is a hallmark to his career as computer scientist. He also added being honored to join several of his Stanford colleagues, namely, Don Knuth, John McCarthy, Ed Feigenbaum, and Martin Hellman, who were previous Turing Award winners. Microsoft Corporation’s principal founder, Bill Gates, stated in the ACM award that the significant contributions of Mr. Hennessy and Mr. Patterson have deemed to be fundamental to very foundation, on top of which the entire industry flourished.

Transformational Technology of Mr. Patterson and Mr. Hennessy

Pioneered by the 2018 Turing Award winners, the RISC designs have transformed the trajectory of the computer technology, which has helped realize the currently popular ubiquitous, efficient, and fast-processing devices. Approach of Mr. Patterson and Mr. Hennessy have inspires next generation technology innovations, which include currently being developed technologies as well.

Massive transformation perceived by the introduction of RISC chip designs is the processing speed. RISC architectures have enabled cost-effective computers to overlap operations from many instructions, instead of their strict sequential and separate handling. At present, RISC architectures, initially introduced by John Hennessy and David Patterson, underlie several technologies that are a part of daily life of modern consumers, ranging from cell phones & tablets to household smart devices.


About Nikhil Kaitwade 301 Articles
With over 8 years of experience in market research and consulting industry, Nikhil has worked on more than 250 research assignments pertaining to chemicals, materials and energy sector. He has worked directly with about 35 reputed companies as lead consultant for plant expansion, product positioning, capacity factor analysis, new market/segment exploration, export market opportunity evaluation and sourcing strategies.