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CNET Article: RISC Reward: Turing Award Goes To Computer Chip Inventors

By March 21, 2018May 12th, 2021No Comments

Dave Patterson and John Hennessy, two San Francisco Bay Area professors now associated with Google, have won the computing industry’s top prize for revolutionizing processors with a technology called RISC.

The pair won the 2017 A.M. Turing Award from the Association for Computing Machinery, a $1 million prize named after the British researcher who famously helped crack German Enigma codes in World War II and lay the foundations of computer science. The high-prestige award is considered the Nobel Prize for computer science.

RISC, short for reduced instruction set computing, gave a major performance boost to processors, fueled the growth of upstarts like Silicon Graphics and Sun Microsystems, and paved the way for today’s smartphone industry. It’s been a remarkable success over the last three decades, and one emblematic of the Silicon Valley ethos of throwing out the old way of doing things.
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