Daniel A. Jiménez Selected to Receive the IEEE Computer Society 2021 B. Ramakrishna Rau Award

LOS ALAMITOS, Calif., 4 October 2021 – The IEEE Computer Society (IEEE CS) has named Daniel A. Jiménez as the recipient of the 2021 B. Ramakrishna Rau Award.  Jiménez is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University.

The B. Ramakrishna Rau Award, established in memory of B. Ramakrishna Rau, recognizes Rau’s distinguished career in promoting and expanding the use of innovative computer microarchitecture techniques, including his innovation in compiler technology, his leadership in academic and industrial computer architecture, and his extremely high personal and ethical standards.

Jiménez is being recognized “for contributions to neural branch prediction in microprocessors.”

“Prof. Jiménez pioneered the use of artificial intelligence techniques to improve the efficiency of computer architectures. He has made several seminal contributions in the area of branch predictors with a very significant impact on the computer architecture field. More recently, Prof. Jiménez has made very significant contributions to improve cache management via machine learning approaches,” said Mateo Valero, Director at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center and Professor at the Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya.

“Starting with the pioneering work on perceptron branch predictors Prof. Jimenez has been inspiring generations of computer architects with his innovative and practical solutions for the most challenging problems in computer design,” commented Andreas Moshovos, Professor, The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Toronto.

Specifically, the Rau Award recognizes Jiménez as one of the world’s foremost contributors to branch prediction, an essential component of the microarchitecture of a high performance microprocessor. His pioneering work on neural branch predictors has fundamentally changed the way research and industry think about branch prediction. In 2001 he proposed the first perceptron-based branch prediction technique. Considered an academic curiosity at that time by many, he continued to develop neural branch predictors to make them practical and effective. His contributions in neural branch prediction have had a significant impact on commercial products: today the high-end products of many companies such as IBM, AMD, Oracle and Samsung, use neural branch predictors because of his work. Jiménez’s contributions in using neural network machine learning techniques for branch prediction has also inspired a significant body of recent research in applying machine learning techniques to other problems in the processor microarchitecture, e.g., instruction and data prefetching.

Josep Torrellas, Saburo Muroga Professor of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, summarized, “Prof. Jiménez’s groundbreaking work on neural branch predictors has fundamentally changed the way research and industry think about branch prediction. His research ideas and implementations have been incorporated into the branch predictors of many commercial processors. His impact on industry has been remarkable.”

Jiménez is an IEEE Fellow, an ACM Distinguished Scientist, an NSF CAREER award winner, and member of the ISCA, MICRO, and HPCA halls of fame. He served as interim Chair of the IEEE CS Technical Committee on Computer Architecture (TCCA) in 2018 and continues to serve as its Diversity Chair and Conferences Chair. He was General Chair of IEEE HPCA in 2011, Program Chair for IEEE HPCA in 2017, and Selection Committee Chair for IEEE Micro “Top Picks” 2020. His 2001 paper with his dissertation advisor Calvin Lin on branch prediction with perceptrons won the “HPCA Test of Time Award” in 2019.

The 2021 Rau Award will be presented at the MICRO-51 Conference, scheduled for 18-22 October 2021.


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