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ACM Opinion

Interview with Charles Thacker, Pc Pioneer and 2009 ACM A.m. Turing Award Winner


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ACM A.M. Turing Award Winner Charles P. Thacker

2009 ACM A.M. Turing Award Winner Charles P. Thacker

Credit: Penn State University

In an interview, Microsoft researcher Charles P. Thacker, who received ACM's 2009 A.M. Turing Award, says the computer industry's journey toward a new programming model to tap multicore processing is only just beginning. "You have to have parallel computers before you can figure out ways to program them, but you have to have parallel programs before you can build systems that can run them well," Thacker says.

Thacker’s recent areas of concentration include the Berkeley Emulation Engine, version 3, an FPGA-based system for devising multicore architectures. He also developed Bee Hive, a multicore system used to investigate parallel architectures such as transactional memory.

Thacker says the acceptance of the tablet PC, which he helped pioneer, has been limited because of less-than-stellar battery life and handwriting recognition capability, although the former problem has been rectified. In a nominating letter, fellow A.M. Turing Award recipient and Microsoft researcher Butler Lampson called Thacker "an engineer's engineer," noting that "his skills span the full range."

From EE Times
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