IEEE Computer Society Establishes Microarchitecture Award

LOS ALAMITOS, Calif., 10 December, 2010 – The IEEE Computer Society has established a new award in memory of late Hewlett-Packard Laboratories technologist B. Ramakrishna Rau to reward significant accomplishments in the field of microarchitecture and compiler code generation.
The B. Ramakrishna Rau Award, which comes with a $2,000 honorarium and a certificate, will be given out annually at the ACM/IEEE International Symposium on Microarchitecture (MICRO) “in recognition of significant contributions in the field of computer microarchitecture and compiler code generation.”
Rau, who passed away in 2002, was a senior research scientist at HP Labs, where he managed its Compiler and Architecture Research group. He started HP Labs’ research program in Very Long Instruction Word (VLIW) and Instruction-Level Parallel (ILP) processing when he joined the facility in 1989, resulting in the development of the Explicitly Parallel Instruction Computing (EPIC) style of architecture that is the basis for the IA-64.
A co-founder of Cydrome Inc. which developed one of the first VLIW mini-supercomputers, Rau authored dozens of articles on VLIW computing, co-authored a book on ILP, and held 15 patents. He also taught at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
He received his B.Tech degree from the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras, India, and his MS and PhD degrees from Stanford University, all in electrical engineering. He was a recipient of the ACM/IEEE Eckert-Mauchly Award and a Fellow of both IEEE and ACM.
“Bob Rau was widely recognized as an expert in the field of VLIW computing, which is the basis of many of today’s computer microarchitectures,” said Rich Belgard, chair of the MICRO steering committee and the Rau Award selection subcommittee. “He developed and helped to develop many of the central architectural and compiler ideas in the VLIW style of computing. Bob was, most of all, an extremely ethical, pleasant, and inspiring technologist.”
The symposium’s steering committee and the Computer Society Technical Committee on Microprogramming and Microarchitecture approved the award, in part, because there is no existing award for distinguished contributions in the field.
"We believe that establishing this award to honor Dr. Rau ’s outstanding research, high ethical standards, mentoring, and service contributions will be valuable to the IEEE Computer Society, both for recognizing Bob’s inspiring leadership and commitment to our community, and for filling a long-neglected void in the Computer Society's award structure,” said Tom Conte, chair of the Computer Society Awards Committee.
The award is open to contributors at all stages of their careers. The winner of the award will be someone who has made an outstanding, innovative contribution or contributions to microarchitecture, use of novel microarchitectural techniques, or compiler/architecture interfacing. It is hoped, but not required, that the winner will have also contributed to the computer microarchitecture community through teaching, mentoring, or community service.
The winner will be invited to present a paper and/or presentation at the ACM/IEEE International Symposium on Microarchitecture either at the award or in the year following the award. For more information, visit

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