Trevor Mudge –101010


100 Word Biography

Trevor Mudge received an MS and a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Illinois, Urbana. He is now the Bredt Family Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is author of numerous papers on computer architecture, programming languages, VLSI design, and computer vision. He has chaired 56 theses in these areas. In 2014 he received the ACM/IEEE CS Eckert-Mauchly Award (slides) and the University of Illinois Distinguished Alumni Award. He is a Life Fellow of the IEEE, a Fellow of the ACM, and a member of the IET and the British Computer Society. His  Erdős number is 3.

Computer Architecture and Design

Most of my research and teaching focusses on computer architecture and related areas.

Shown Above is a 128-core multiprocessor, Centip3De, that was designed and built by our group at Michigan in 2010. It is remarkable in that it stacks seven silicon dies on top of one another. Four of the die contain the 128 (64 each) cores with their caches, two of the die are DRAM memory and the seventh die contains sense amps and spreader to the package pins.

The Six Ideas in Computer Architecture 

Surprisingly, there are only six distinct concepts used to design computers, apart from technology advances,  that reappear in many guises  over and over again: 
  1. Locality – spatial & temporal, e.g. caches
  2. Prediction – no state change, e.g. branch prediction
  3. Speculation – state change, e.g. prefetching
  4. Indirection, e.g. virtualization
  5. Parallelism, e.g. pipelining, OoO, vectors
  6. Specialization, e.g. GPUs, accelerators


Doctor (examining a life insurance prospect): “Do you ever talk in your sleep?”
Prospect: “No, but I often talk in other people’s sleep”
Doctor: “But how can that be?”
Prospect: “I’m a college professor.”
                #230 in “Ten Hundred Laughs” Ray Scruggs Houston TX 1928


“The empires of the future are the empires of the mind.”  Churchill—good prediction from an unlikely source 

“Things that can’t go on forever, don’t.” attributed to Herb Stein (c. 1985)—the end of Moore’s Law?

“We cannot justify our assumptions about the future based on past experience unless there is a law that the future will always resemble the past. No such law exists.” Paraphrasing David Hume—I think this was one of the most interesting insights in the past 500 years

“I am not very impressed with theological arguments whatever they may be used to support. Such arguments have often been found unsatisfactory in the past. In the time of Galileo it was argued that the texts, ‘And the sun stood still… and hasted not to go down about a whole day’ (Joshua x. 13) and ‘He laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not move at any time’ (Psalm cv. 5) were an adequate refutation of the Copernican theory.”  Alan Turing, Computing machinery and intelligence