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Computer Architecture and Compilers

The architecture group at UCSD is at the cutting edge of innovation in processor and computer systems design.  Our current projects address the current "grand challenge" of computer architecture:  Finding power-efficient ways to find and exploit parallelism to continue scaling performance. We are addressing this challenge by exploring novel programming abstractions, CPU and storage system organization, execution strategies, micro-architectures, processor design methodologies, and circuit technologies.  Our group consists of 3 faculty and over 20 graduate students and is well-supported through generous funding from government and industrial sources.

Projects | People | Publications | Sponsors


Steven Swanson
Dr. Steven Swanson
Dr. Michael Taylor
Dean Tullsen
Dr. Dean Tullsen

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ArsenalGreenDroid: Specialized Processors for Efficient Mobille Application Processors

We are developing a prototype processor called GreenDroid that is designed to dramatically reduce energy consumption in smart phones. GreenDroid will provide many specialized processors targeting key portions of the Google's Android smart phone platform. GreenDroid will reduce energy consumption for these codes by integrating Conservation Cores (C-cores).

Faculty: Steven Swanson and Michael Taylor

nvslThe Non-volatile Systems Laboratory

The Non-volatile Systems Lab studies non-volatile, solid-state storage technologies and their applications at the architecture, system, and software levels.  We develop novel system and hardware architectures for advanced non-volatile memories, characterize existing technologies, and develop techniques to ensure the security of data stored in these devices.  It works with Center for Magnetic Recording Research, the San Diego Supercomputing Center, government agencies, and industrial partners to understand current and future non-volatile memory technologies and craft the system architectures, abstractions, and applications required to fully realize their potential.

Faculty: Steven Swanson

Software Optimizations for Single Threads Running on CMPs

As the number of cores grows, Amdahl's Law increases the importance of serial execution performance. We are developing software techniques that allow us to accelerate a single thread using multiple, independent cores. Our results show that some simple techniques can significantly boost performance on using existing hardware. Read about it here.

Faculty: Dean Tullsen and Steven Swanson

nvslSD-VBS: The San Diego Vision Benchmark Suite

The San Diego Vision Benchmark Suite (SD-VBS) is a suite of diverse vision applications drawn from the vision domain. It is intended to help architects, compiler writers, and system designers study the construction of future systems that excel at vision-oriented applications. Additionally, vision codes tend to have a fair amount of parallelism, which makes them a good candidate for formulating future multicore and parallel architectures.

Faculty: Michael Taylor

Pyrprof: A Multicore Software Engineering Profiling Tool

Pyrprof is a parallel programming tool intended to help a programmer quickly discover parallelism in their programs. It outputs a list of code regions that is ordered by the potential speedup obtained from parallelization. Pyrprof provides a drop-in replacement for gcc and operates similarly to gprof.

Faculty: Michael Taylor


PhD Students

MS Students

  • Ameen Akel
  • Joe Auricchio
  • Slavik Bryksin
  • Jose Lugo-Martinez
  • Scott Ricketts
  • Daniel Stufflebean
  • Hyojin Sung


Recent Alumni


Jeremy Lau (Ph.D. 2007) → Google Labs

Erez Perelman (Ph.D. 2007)  → Consulting and Guitar building

Michael Van Biesbrouck (Ph.D. 2007) → Google

Cristiano Pereira (Ph.D. 2007)  → Intel

Satish Narayanasamy (Ph.D. 2007) → Assistant Professor, in EECS at University of Michigan

Anthony Choi (MS 2007) → Samsung, Korea

Recent Publications

Inter-core Prefetching for Multicore Processors Using Migrating Helper Threads, Md Kamruzzaman, Steven Swanson, and Dean Tullsen, To Appear: ASPLOS '11: Proceeding of the 16th international conference on Architectural support for programming languages and operating systems, (2011). PDF
NV-Heaps: making persistent objects fast and safe with next-generation, non-volatile memories, Joel Coburn, Adrian M. Caulfield, Ameen Akel, Laura M. Grupp, Rajesh K. Gupta, Ranjit Jhala, and Steven Swanson, Proceedings of the sixteenth international conference on Architectural support for programming languages and operating systems, p.105–118, (2011). ASPLOS '11. Newport Beach, California, USA. URL PDF
Reliably erasing data from flash-based solid state drives, Michael Wei, Laura M. Grupp, Frederick E. Spada, and Steven Swanson, Proceedings of the 9th USENIX conference on File and stroage technologies, Berkeley, CA, USA, p.8–8, (2011). FAST'11. San Jose, California. URL PDF
Efficient Complex Operators for Irregular Codes, Jack Sampson, Ganesh Venkatesh, Nathan Goulding, Saturnino Garcia, Steven Swanson, and Michael Bedford Taylor, To Appear: 17th IEEE International Symposium on High-Performance Computer Architecture Conference (HPCA 17), (2011). PDF
The GreenDroid Mobile Application Processor:An Architecture for Silicon's Dark Future, Nathan Goulding-Hotta, Jack Sampson, Ganesh Venkatesh, Saturnino Garcia, Joe Auricchio, Po-Chao Huang, Manish Arora, Siddhartha Nath, Vikram Bhatt, Jonathan Babb, et al., IEEE Micro, March/April www, (2011).
Understanding the Impact of Power Loss on Flash Memory, Hung-Wei Tseng, Laura M. Grupp, and Steven Swanson, To Appear: 48th Design Automation Conference (DAC 2011), June, (2011). PDF
Reducing the Energy Cost of Irregular Code Bases in Soft Processor Systems, Manish Arora, Jack Sampson, Nathan Goulding, Jonathan Babb, Ganesh Venkatesh, Michael Taylor, and Steven Swanson, Proceedings of FCCM 2011, (2011).
Extracting Device Fingerprints from Flash Memory Exploiting Physical Variations, Pravin Prabhu, Ameen Akel, Laura Grupp, Wing-Key Yu, Edward G. Suh, Edwin Kan, and Steven Swanson, Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Trust and Trustworthy Computing, (2011). PDF
GreenDroid: Exploring the next evolution in smartphone application processors, S. Swanson, and M. B. Taylor, Communications Magazine, IEEE, April, Volume 49, Number 4, p.112 -119, (2011). PDF
Onyx: A Protoype Phase-Change Memory Storage Array, Ameen Akel, Adrian M. Caulfield, Todor I. Mollov, Rajesh K. Gupta, and Steven Swanson, Proceedings of the 3rd USENIX conference on Hot topics in storage and file systems, Berkeley, CA, USA, (2011). HotStorage'11. Portland, OR. PDF
Multiple-Write WOM-Codes, Scott Kayser, Eitan Yaakobi, Paul H. Siegel, Alexander Vardy, and Jack K. Wolf, 48-th Annual Allerton Conference on Communication, Control and Computing, September, (2010). Monticello, IL. PDF
Efficient Two-Write WOM-Codes, Eitan Yaakobi, Scott Kayser, Paul H. Siegel, Alexander Vardy, and Jack K. Wolf, ITW'10: Proceedings of IEEE Information Theory Workshop, August-September, (2010). Dublin, Ireland. PDF
Conservation Cores: Reducing the Energy of Mature Computations, Ganesh Venkatesh, Jack Sampson, Nathan Goulding, Saturnino Garcia, Vladyslav Bryksin, Jose Lugo-Martinez, Steven Swanson, and Michael Bedford Taylor, ASPLOS '10: Proceeding of the 15th international conference on Architectural support for programming languages and operating systems, (2010). PDF
Understanding the Impact of Emerging Non-Volatile Memories on High-Performance, IO-Intensive Computing, Adrian M. Caulfield, Joel Coburn, Todor Mollov, Arup De, Ameen Akel, Jiahua He, Arun Jagatheesan, Rajesh K. Gupta, Allan Snavely, and Steven Swanson, Proceedings of the 2010 ACM/IEEE International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis, Washington, DC, USA, p.1–11, (2010). SC '10. URL PDF


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