Security, Synapses, Sustainability, and Superconducting: A Look at Possible Futures for the FPGA

Timothy Sherwood

Professor, Department of Computer Science

University of California Santa Barbara

Abstract: FPGAs are not just computational workhorses — they are virtual laboratories for innovation — a glimpse into our spatial and temporal computing future. No other technology allows you to break computations down into their underlying logical atoms so fully and then re-link them back together so fruitfully. This is an incredibly powerful capability, not just for achieving performance, but for analyzing, improving, securing, and understanding the nature of computations in a deep way. It can surface vulnerabilities hidden deep in a design, help us uncover computational truths about the brain, and unlock the latent potential in emerging technologies. In this talk we will dig into the logical representation of computations, the practical power of working at this lowest level, some of the most interesting and pressing problems we might wish to solve in this way, and exciting possible futures for the FPGA in helping to realize those solutions.

Speaker: Timothy Sherwood is a Professor of Computer Science at UC Santa Barbara specializing in the development of computing systems exploiting novel technologies (e.g. superconductors and memristors), provable properties (e.g. security, privacy, and correctness), and non-traditional logic systems (e.g. time-based computation). He is a Fellow of the ACM and IEEE, recipient of the ACM SIGARCH Maurice Wilkes Award, and co-recipient of 17 different “best paper” or “top pick” article awards. In 2013 he co-founded Tortuga Logic (now Cycuity) to bring richsecurity analysis to the hardware and embedded system design processes. At UCSB he currently serves as the Interim Dean of the College of Creative Studies and has in the past served as the Associate Vice Chancellor for Research. Prior to joining UCSB he received his UC Davis (1998), and M.S. and Ph.D. from UC San Diego (2003) all in Computer Science and Engineering