It’s a New Golden Age for Technology
The way forward in technology is building a vertically integrated company with a diverse team.
Your phone’s battery life could always be better, but it could have been much worse. Decades after John Hennessy and David Patterson invented the technology that made high-performance, low-power gadgets possible, they have received the ultimate honor—the $1 million ACM A.M. Turing Award, billed as the “Nobel Prize of Computing.” You can thank them quietly whenever you pull your phone out.
In the 1980s, the two professors (Hennessy from Stanford, Patterson from Berkeley) developed technology called RISC—the reduced instruction set computer. The gist: A CPU runs more efficiently if software feeds it a lot of simple instructions instead of fewer, but more complicated ones. Early programmers and chip designers took the latter route, since they could write shorter code, and leave the CPU to unpack it. But as programming languages got more sophisticated in the 1970s and 1980s, they took over the grunt work, translating high-level code written by humans into the litany of instructions the CPU needs. That made Hennessy and Patterson’s RISC concept make sense without inconveniencing software engineers.
99% of Processors today are RISC!