Architect of Hyperscale Datacenters Receives Award
Written by Sue Gee   
Monday, 08 June 2020

The 2020 Eckert-Mauchly Award has been conferred on Luiz André Barroso for pioneering the design of warehouse-scale computing and driving it from concept to industry.

Eckert Mauchly banner 

Administered jointly by ACM and IEEE Computer Society, this  annual award of $5000 is named after John Presper Eckert and John William Mauchly, who collaborated on the design and construction of ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) which was completed in 1947.

It recognizes contributions to computer and digital systems architecture, which is considered to encompass combined hardware-software design. 

The announcement of the award makes the point that

Today’s datacenters contain hundreds of thousands of servers and millions of disk drives, and make possible the most prevalent applications used by the public today, including cloud computing, powerful search engines, and internet services.

Explaining the choice of recipient the announcement continues:

Barroso is widely recognized as the foremost architect of the design of ultra-scale datacenters, He was the lead architect of Google’s first custom-built data centers and has been the primary technical leader steering the development of Google’s computing infrastructure for much of the last two decades. Virtually all the hardware architectures that power today’s internet services and cloud computing systems feature elements introduced by Barroso and his team at Google.

Barroso's 2009 book, The Datacenter as a Computer: An Introduction to the Design of Warehouse-Scale Machines, co-authored with Urs Hölzle, is widely accepted as the authoritative textbook in the field and popularized the phrase “the datacenter is the computer.” The book is now in its third edition with an additional co-author, Parthasarathy Ranganathan.

When Barroso’s designs were introduced in the mid-2000s, they introduced a new term: “hyperscale datacenters.” They were seen as attractive not only because they could manage the mushrooming workloads from internet services and cloud computing, but because they also reduced hardware and operating costs. By 2022, the hyperscale datacenter market is expected to grow to more than $80 billion annually. 


Barroso was formally recognized with the ACM-IEEE CS Eckert-Mauchly Award during the ACM/IEEE International Symposium on Computer Architecture (ISCA), which was held virtually between May 29 and June 3, 2020.


More Information

Pioneer of Modern Datacenter Design Receives Eckert-Mauchly Award

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Last Updated ( Monday, 08 June 2020 )