Computer Architecture - overview
At its core, IBM is a computer company; and IBM researchers have made seminal contributions to the computer architecture field. Here are some of our exciting research activities in the computer architecture area.
The Computer Architecture researchers at IBM have participated in a variety of seminal projects throughout the years. While many of these are no longer active, you can review them to get an idea of the work we have done.
- Deep Blue
IBM's Deep Blue computer beat the human world chess champion in the year 1997. Now the technology is being applied to other areas.
- Very Long Instruction Word (VLIW)
The IBM VLIW research project resulted in a hardware prototype, three generations of research compilers, and many publications and patents.
- ASCI White Blue Pacific
IBM's scalable multiprocessor systems offer many areas of fruitful research. IBM Research recently contributed to the Accelerated Strategic Computing Initiative's White and Blue Pacific supercomputers.
- Dynamically Architected Instruction Set from Yorktown (DAISY)
This project aims to use binary translation to achieve 100% architectural compatibility with existing processors (e.g. PowerPC, S/390, Java VM) on a wide issue VLIW engine. Freely available as open source
IBM's Embedded Low-Power Digital Signal Processor project (eLite DSP), is advancing the state of the art in ultra-low power DSP architectures, design methodologies, and compilers.
- High frequency microprocessor design
A RISC microprocessor designed at IBM Research achieved a 1GHz frequency in a 0.25 micron CMOS technology.
- PC Server Activities
Research on the memory and I/O architecture of PC multiprocessor systems.
- Ultra-high frequency microarchitecture
The focus of this project was to explore the use and impact of novel circuit techniques for future ultra-high frequency microarchitectures.
- Memory eXpansion Technologies
Memory controllers with a compression technique that can double the memory size.
- CELL Architecture
This project with Sony and Toshiba has created a supercomputer-on-a-chip for a new wave of devices in the emerging broadband era.
- Embedded DRAM (eDRAM)
As CMOS scaling becomes increasingly difficult, low-power, dense bit storage is needed for microprocessor caches. Building upon circuit-level work begun in the 1990's, the Computer Architecture department continues to make innovative contributions to next-generation caches.
- The MET
The MET (Microarchitecture Exploration Toolset) project addresses the exploration of options in the design of PowerPC processors. The effort has led to the development and use of fast simulation tools for microarchitecture tradeoffs.