Joseph A. (Josh) Fisher

2003 Eckert-Mauchly Award Recipient

"In recognition of 25 years of seminal contributions to instruction-level parallelism, pioneering work on VLIW architectures, and the formulation of the Trace Scheduling compilation technique"

Joseph Fisher


Josh Fisher is a Senior HP Fellow, conducting research in VLIW architectures and compilers, as well as in custom-fit embedded processors and dynamic execution.

Among his latest achievements, under his leadership, HPL researchers co-developed (with STMicroelectronics) custom-fit processors in the Lx/ST200 family that are being used in digital video consumer products. More recently Josh's team developed the disruptive DELI technology, which gives access to a new control point in the computation chain and generalizes important problems such as dynamic optimization and binary emulation.

Josh is also actively involved in the organization of conferences in the Computer Architecture field; in addition to serving for various program committees, he was general co-chair for ISCA-22 (S.Margherita Ligure, Italy, 1995), and program co-chair for MICRO-34 (Austin, Texas, 2001)

Josh joined HP in 1990, attracted by the opportunity to work on the PA-WW (Precision Architecture-Wide-Word) project, which is heavily based on VLIW and eventually became IA-64. Josh did much of the fundamental research in VLIW architectures and Instruction-level Parallelism, even coining the terms VLIW and Instruction-level Parallelism. Together with Bob Rau, he is widely recognized as "the father of VLIW". In 1994, Fisher founded HP Labs-Cambridge (Mass.) and was its director ever since. In 2001 he was part of Hewlett-Packard's Technology Council, which determined HP's technological direction.

Before joining HP, Josh co-founded, was president and later executive vice president and CTO of Multiflow Computer Inc., which built VLIW mini-supercomputers. After a period of significant success (when they sold more than 100 machines), Multiflow went out of business. Among others high-tech companies, HP and Intel, both investors in Multiflow, used its compiler technology in designing PA-WW.

Prior to Multiflow, Josh was a computer science professor at Yale University for five years. At Yale, he started the ELI (Enormously Long Instruction) project, where most of the seminal work on VLIW technology and related compiler techniques (such as Trace Scheduling) were developed.

Josh is a senior member of IEEE, winner of the Eli Whitney 1987 Connecticut Entrepreneur of the Year Award and winner of the first National Science Foundation's 1984 President's Young Investigator Award. He earned his BA in mathematics from New York University, and his MS and PhD in computer science from New York University's Courant Institute.
Computing Now