Emerging Computational Architectures
Fall 2007 Lecture Series

Presented by...
The Architecture and Compilers Group
Computer and Information Sciences Department
University of Pennsylvania

"Life, Death, and Video Games: Revisiting High-Performance Chip Architecture"
Sanjay J. Patel
Chief Architect, AGEIA Technologies
Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Wu & Chen Auditorium, 3-4pm
Tuesday, November 6th


In early 2005, AGEIA introduced the notion of an accelerator card for physical simulation of video games. Since then, there has been a rush of activity from several major semiconductor vendors to jump onto the physics bandwagon. This is another example of how the semiconductor economy is responding to the "data scale" world, driven by the video games at its base, and extending into a revitalized workstation market. Gaming is bringing supercomputing technology to the masses, with 3D graphics and physics as the primary drivers. These economic factors are causing a new inflection point in the computing landscape that affect the way CPUs will be architected. In this talk we'll examine these factors, and the interesting challenges of designing chips for physics. We'll take a deep dive into the architecture of the AGEIA PhysX chip, and examine the forces that are driving the evolution of the AGEIA PhysX Architecture.


Sanjay J. Patel is an Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Willett Faculty Scholar at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he pursues his research interest in designing ultra high-performance architectures. Sanjay is also Chief Technology Officer at AGEIA Technologies, overseeing the architecture and design of AGEIA's high-performance ASICs for accelerating physical simulation in video games. He is the co-author (with Yale Patt of The University of Texas at Austin) of an introductory textbook for computer science and engineering students, titled "Introduction to Computing Systems: From Bits and Gates to C and Beyond", which is now available in its second edition from McGraw-Hill. Patel earned his Bachelor (1990), Master of Science (1992) and PhD (1999) in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Organized by Milo Martin and Amir Roth

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