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John L. Hennessy



Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science 


Stanford University



Contact Information

Office of the President

Building 10, Main Quad

Stanford, CA 94305

Telephone: 650-723-2481

Fax: 650-725-6847



Assistant: Margaret Rowland (

Presidential Website with biography, speeches, and news

Research Interests

Computer Architecture and Programming Language Design and Implementation


Brief Biography

Professor Hennessy initiated the MIPS project at Stanford in 1981, MIPS is a high- performance Reduced Instruction Set Computer (RISC), built in VLSI. MIPS was one of the first three experimental RISC architectures. In addition to his role in the basic research, Hennessy played a key role in transferring this technology to industry. During a sabbatical leave from Stanford in 1984-85, he cofounded MIPS Computer Systems (later MIPS Technologies Inc. and now part of Imagination Technologies), which specializes in the production of chips based on these concepts. He also led the Stanford DASH (Distributed Architecture for Shared Memory) multiprocessor project. DASH was the first scalable shared memory multiprocessor with hardware-supported cache coherence. More recently, he has been involved in FLASH (FLexible Architecture for Shared Memory), which is designed to support different communication and coherency approaches in large-scale shared-memory multiprocessors. In the 1990s, he served as the Founding Chairman of the Board of Atheros, an early wireless chipset company, now part of Qualcomm.  Hennessy is also the coauthor of two widely used textbooks in computer architecture.


Professional Curriculum Vitae, Publications, and Talks 

Last Changed 5/8/2014