LOS ALAMITOS, Calif., 12 May, 2010 -- The IEEE Computer Society and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) will jointly present the Eckert-Mauchly Award to William J. Dally of NVIDIA Corp. for his innovative contributions to the architecture of interconnection networks and parallel computers. The Eckert Mauchly Award is known as the computer architecture community's most prestigious award. Dally developed the system and network architecture, signaling, routing, and synchronization technology that is found in most large parallel computers today. He also introduced the Imagine processor, which employs stream processing architecture, providing high- performance computing with power, speed, and efficiency. Dally will receive the 2010 Eckert-Mauchly Award at the International Symposium on Computer Architecture which runs from 19-23 June, in Saint-Malo, France.
Early in his career, Dally recognized the limitations of serial or sequential processing to cope with the increasing need for processing power in order to solve complex computational problems. He perceived the ability of parallel processing, in which many processing cores, each optimized for efficiency, can work together to solve a problem. Historically, parallel processing architecture was used to model difficult scientific engineering problems in environmental science, biotechnology and genetics as well as geology and seismology. Today, strong commercial demands provide a driving force for parallel processing applications in data mining, oil exploration, Web search engines, medical imaging and diagnosis, pharmaceutical design, and financial and economic modeling. Parallel processing also enables continued scaling of computing performance in the current energy-constrained environment.
Dally joined NVIDIA in 2009 as Chief Scientist and Senior Vice President of Research. From 2005-2009, he served as chair of Stanford University's Computer Science Department, where he has been a computer science professor since 1997. Prior to his Stanford affiliation, Dally led a group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that built the J-Machine and the M-Machine, parallel machines that pioneered the separation of mechanism from programming models. Previously at California Institute of Technology, he designed the MOSSIM Simulation Engine to provide the computing power required to verify complex Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) chips. He also designed the Torus Routing chip, a self-timed chip that reduces the latency of communications that traverse more than one channel.
A co-founder of Velio Communications and Stream Processor Inc., Dally has published more than 200 papers and holds over 75 issued patents. He is the author of two textbooks, Digital Systems Engineering and Principles and Practices of Interconnection Networks. A Fellow of ACM, IEEE, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he received the 2000 ACM Maurice Wilkes award and the 2004 IEEE Computer Society Seymour Cray Computer Engineering Award. Dally received a BS degree from the Virginia Institute of Technology and an MS from Stanford, both in electrical engineering. His PhD in computer science is from Caltech.
ACM and the IEEE Computer Society co-sponsor the Eckert-Mauchly Award, which was initiated in 1979. It recognizes contributions to computer and digital systems architecture and comes with a $5,000 prize. The award was named for John Presper Eckert and John William Mauchly, who collaborated on the design and construction of the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC), the first large-scale electronic computing machine, which was completed in 1947.