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The Industry-Academia Partnership Gathers at Harvard University to Address the Technology Demands of the Future Data Center

Multiple Academia and Industry Leaders Convene at Workshop on May 21

Los Gatos, California - May 30, 2013

The Industry-Academia Partnership (IAP) held its inaugural Workshop at Harvard University in the Maxwell Dworkin Building on May 21, with the theme "Meeting the Future Needs of the Data Center". The IAP is a new association formed to address the revolutionary changes required for the underlying hardware and software as multi-core compute, storage and networking converge for the future data center and cloud.

Several esteemed professors presented their research work impacting  the future data center, including Professor David Brooks from Harvard University, Professor José Martínez from Cornell University, Professor Onur Mutlu from Carnegie Mellon University, and Professor Daniel Sanchez from MIT.  Several high tech companies involved in data center operations, infrastructure and hardware components and software were represented at the Workshop including Cavium, Dell, Google, HP, Quanta, Radisys, Red Hat and SK Hynix.  Industry luminaries also presented, including Dr. Shubu Mukherjee, Distinguished Engineer of Cavium, an IEEE and ACM Fellow and 2009 Winner of the Maurice-Wilkes Award for outstanding contributions to computer architecture.

A highlight of the event was a panel discussion on the "Outlook for Multi-core Compute for the Future Data Center", that discussed the new requirements placed on hyper-scale servers, the merits of the ARM vs. x86 architectures, homogeneous vs. heterogeneous multi-core and many core, and the commercial potential of the competitive offerings. The panel included Professor Brooks, Dr. Mukherjee, Professor Mutlu, Professor Sanchez and was moderated by IAP Executive Director Dr. Jim Ballingall.

Professor Brooks,
the Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University, 2011 Winner of the Maurice-Wilkes Award, and IAP Board Advisor commented "This was a very productive workshop to address a very important topic as the data center has become a true technology driver for hardware and software.  I view interactions with our industry colleagues like this to be indispensable to informing our research directions and rounding out our students' educational experiences."

Dr.  Mukherjee
added, "I believe the IAP fills a void among the technical meetings and conferences available. The Workshop format provides a structured yet informal setting for give-and-take discussion that illuminates issues likes no other, and it was wonderful to interact with so many academics and talented students."

Jon Masters, Chief ARM Architect at Red Hat, in his presentation in the morning session stated, “The caliber of the attendees at the Harvard IAP Workshop is very impressive.  This is a terrific opportunity to dialog and network with leaders in the field who have a stake such as we do in developing technologies to support the evolving data center.”

Rajesh Narayanan,
of the CTO Office at Dell commented, “The IAP is a unique association of high level industry and academia researchers dedicated to new developments that impact the future data center. We view university collaboration to be a key component for R&D and new product development.”

Dr. Kim Hazelwood, of Google Research and former professor of Computer Science at the University of Virginia commented, “I am very pleased to participate in activities like these in an area where industry-academia collaborations are essential. I look to forward to future IAP workshops.”

David Olmsted, Technology Strategist at HP stated, "The IAP Workshop at Harvard was extremely worthwhile, offering a forum to network with leading academic and industry stakeholders regarding the future needs of the data center."

Jet Woo, Technology Marketing at SK Hynix commented, "Storage solutions for the data center and their underlying memory technologies are undergoing rapid change. The IAP provides a unique opportunity for a memory solutions provider such as SK Hynix to interact with leaders in academia and industry across the entire solution stack from components to software and data center infrastructure."

Professor Onur Mutlu, the Strecker Professor at Carnegie Mellon University, and the inaugural winner of the IEEE Computer Society TCCA Young Computer Architect Award concluded after his afternoon presentation, “As we meet here at this IAP Workshop, we are at an exciting time in computer architecture: the end of technology scaling is in sight, yet we need more performance and efficiency than ever to make sense of the massive amounts of data we generate. It is now time for us to reinvent computing by holistically rethinking the organization and interfaces of memory, storage, communication, and computation in systems, driven by the increasing need to efficiently process and analyze massive amounts of data.”

Dr. Jim Ballingall, Executive Director of the IAP summed up, “According to university program rankings such as U.S. News and World Report, 3 of the top 5 computer science programs in the world were represented at the Harvard IAP Workshop. We are also pleased with the high level of industry participation at this inaugural Workshop and look forward to future gatherings on university campuses.” Video transcripts and slides of the presentations will be made available. Interested parties are welcome to contact the IAP at info@Industry-Academia.org.

About the Industry-Academia Partnership:
The IAP is an association of university professors, students and industry with the goal being to catalyze new product innovations by bringing together industry and university partners in pursuit of some common data center themes in education, research and product development. The IAP Board of Advisors includes Professor David Brooks of Harvard University, Professor José Martínez of Cornell University, Professor Onur Mutlu of Carnegie Mellon University, and Professor Daniel Sanchez of MIT. Dr. Jim Ballingall of Ballingall Consulting is the Executive Director. The IAP conducts workshops periodically on university campuses.  For further information, contact the IAP at info@Industry-Academia.org.