Kunle Olukotun Receives 2023 ACM Eckert-Mauchly Award
Written by Sue Gee   
Friday, 16 June 2023

The 2023 ACM Eckert-Mauchly Award has been has been conferred on Kunle Olukotun, a Professor at Stanford University, for his contributions to multicore processor design.

ACM Eckert Mauchly Award

Administered jointly by ACM and IEEE Computer Society, this award recognizes contributions to computer and digital systems architecture and combined hardware-software design. Established in 1979 it carries a prize of $5,000 which goes annually to a single individual. It is named after John Presper Eckert and John William Mauchly, who collaborated on the design and construction of one of the very first computers - ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) completed in 1947. You can discover their story in Eckert & Mauchly and ENIAC.

The citation for the 2023 Eckert-Mauchly Award reads:

For contributions and leadership in the development of parallel systems, especially multicore and multithreaded processors.

Its recipient is Oyekunle Olukotun, a British-born Nigerian computer scientist who is the Cadence Design Systems Professor of the Stanford School of Engineering, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Stanford University and the director of the Stanford Pervasive Parallelism Lab. He is also the leader of the Stanford Hydra chip multiprocessor (CMP) research project. 


The background to receiving this award is that in the early 1990s, Olukotun became a leading designer of a new kind of microprocessor known as a "chip multiprocessor"  - today called a "multicore processor." His work demonstrated the performance advantages of multicore processors over the existing microprocessor designs at the time. Olukotun’s landmark paper, presented at the ACM Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems (ASPLOS 1996) and entitled "The Case for a Single-Chip Multiprocessor", received the ASPLOS Most Influential Paper Award 15 years later. His multicore design eventually became the industry standard.

According to the information presented on his ACM page:

His insights on multicore processors and thread-level speculation research laid the foundation for Olukotun's work on fine-grained multithreading, a technique which improves the overall efficiency of computer processors (CPUs). These designs were the basis for Afara WebSystems, a server company Olukotun founded that was eventually acquired by Sun (and later Oracle). Sun Microsystems used Olukotun’s designs as a foundation for its Niagara chips, which were recognized for their outstanding performance and energy efficiency. The Niagara family of chips are now used in all of Oracle's SPARC-based servers.

Later, with Christos Kozyrakis and others, Olukotun was a leader in designing the Transactional Coherence and Consistency (TCC) approach to simplify parallel programming. He was a co-author of the paper, “Transactional Memory Coherence and Consistency,” which was presented at the 2004 International Symposium on Computer Architecture (ISCA) and received the Most Influential Paper Award in 2019.

Olukotun will be formally recognized with the Eckert-Mauchly Award during an awards luncheon on June 20 at the International Symposium on Computer Architecture (ISCA 2023).

More Information

ACM - IEEE CS Eckert-Mauchly

2023 ACM - IEEE CS Eckert-Mauchly Award

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Last Updated ( Friday, 16 June 2023 )