William J. Dally

Last updated Oct. 3, 2001

Bill Dally is a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Stanford University. He is a member of the Computer Systems Laboratory, leads the Concurrent VLSI Architecture Group, and teaches courses on Computer Architecture, Computer Design, and VLSI Design.

Before coming to Stanford, Bill was a Professor in the department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT .

Current Projects

Streaming Supercomputer
We are developing a streaming supercomputer (SS) that is scalable from a single-chip to thousands of chips that we estimate will achieve a factor of 100x improvement in the performance per unit cost on a wide range of demanding numerical computations compared to conventional cluster-based supercomputers. The SS uses a combination of stream processing with a high-performance network to access a globally shared memory to achieve this goal.
Imagine: A High-Performance Image and Signal Processor
Imagine is a programmable signal and image processor that provides the performance and performance density of a special-purpose processor. Imagine achieves a peak performance of 20GFLOPS (single-precision floating point) and 40GOPS (16-bit fixed point) and sustains over 12GFLOPS and 20GOPS on key signal processing benchmarks. Imagine sustains a power efficiency of 3.7GFLOPS/W on these same benchmarks, a factor of 20 better than the most efficient conventional signal processors.
Scalable Network Fabrics
We are developing architectures and technologies to enable large, scalable high-performance interconnection networks to be used in parallel computers, network switches and routers, and high-performance I/O systems. Recent results include the development of a hierarchical network topology that makes efficient use of a combination of electrical and optical links, a locality-preserving randomized oblivious routing algorithm, a method for scheduling constrained crossbar switches, new speculative and reservation-based flow control methods, and a method for computing the worst-case traffic pattern for any oblivious routing function.
Smart Memories
We are investigating combined processor/memory architectures that are best able to exploit 2009 semiconductor technologies. We envision these architectures being composed of 10s to 100s of processors and memory banks on a single semiconductor chip. Our research addresses the design of the processors and memories, the architecture of the interconnection network that ties them together, and mechanisms to simplify programming of such machines.
High-Speed Signalling
We are developing methods and circuits that stretch the performance bounds of electrical signalling between chips, boards, and cabinets in a digital system. A prototype 0.25um 4Gb/s CMOS transceiver has been developed, dissipating only 130mW, amenable for large scale integration. Future chips include a a 20Gb/s 0.13um CMOS transceiver.

Recent Projects

The M-Machine
Is an experimental parallel computer that demonstrated highly-efficient mechanisms for parallelism including two-level multithreading, efficient network interfaces, fast communication and synchronization, and support for efficient shared memory protocols.
The Reliable Router
is a high-performance multicomputer router that demonstrates new technologies ranging from architecture to circuit design. At the architecture level the router uses a novel adaptive routing algorithm, a link-level retry protocol, and a unique token protocol. Together the two protocols greatly reduce the cost of providing reliable, exactly-once end-to-end communication. At the circuit level the router demonstrates the latest version of our simultaneous bidirectional pads and a new method for plesiochronous synchronization.
The J-Machine
is an experimental parallel computer, in operation since July 1991, that demonstrates mechanisms that greatly reduce the overhead involved in inter-processor interaction.

Selected Publications

Recent Talks, Etc...


CVA People

William J. Dally
Stanford University
Computer Systems Laboratory
Gates Room 314
Stanford, CA 94305
(650) 725-8945
FAX: (650) 725-6949