Since shortly after its introduction, the microprocessor has dominated the design of electronic systems. The success of the microprocessor, sustained by the march of Moore’s law, stalled innovation in logic design for more than thirty years because programming became a substitute for hardware design. This was possible because the design goal of the personal computer and other microprocessor-based systems, representing the majority of the semiconductor market, was cost-performance. The advent of the value PC and the burgeoning of mobile devices have conspired to change the design goal to cost-performance per watt. Traditional microprocessor-based design cannot meet the challenge of the new design goal, so computing is in transition. A host of multiprocessor configurations and a host of reconfigurable systems vie for control of the next generation of computing applications. Computing is in transition, but the outcome is currently unpredictable.
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About the speaker:
Nick Tredennick has the usual degrees from typical universities and has held an uninspiring assortment of run-of-the-mill jobs. For example, he has been a fry cook, Air Force pilot, janitor, university professor, dishwasher, design engineer, truck driver, naval officer, oil field worker, and corporate executive. He even helped start a few companies, but was soon forced out.
However, despite an appalling lack of knowledge about programmable logic and electronics in general, he was once chief scientist at Altera, a leading maker of programmable logic devices. Through what could only have been a monumental bureaucratic foul-up, he was also once a Research Staff Member at IBM's prestigious Watson Research Center. Tredennick has put considerable effort into finding something he could do well. No luck so far.
He started his career as a working engineer (nerd), but moved to management when he found watching people work was easier than working. He moved to a university when he found talking about work was even easier than watching it. He has finally reached the pinnacle of his career in a position where he doesn't even have to talk about work. He is a technology analyst for Gilder Publishing.