Configurable Microprocessor for Life Essential Devices
By Thang Tran,
As new use cases emerge in the personal electronics market, the processors that run them must evolve to meet the changing requirements. In 1990, the productivity era drove growth in personal computers and laptops. In 2000, the connectivity era brought with it smart phones and tablets. And in 2010, with assistance of WiFi, the world became connected in real time everywhere through social media (FaceTime, IM, Skype, Twitter), live streaming, and interactive gaming. A new era of essential devices to improve quality of life is now upon us. These essential devices, also known as the Internet of Things (IoT), require a step function improvement in power and performance efficiency together with extreme reliability requirements. This paper will explore how processors have evolved with attributes such as configurability and extensibility to enable the next generation of electronics.
Thang Tran is a principal engineer at Synopsys. He received his MBA from St. Edwards University in 1985 and Ph.D. in Computer and Electrical Engineering from University of Texas at Austin in 1992. He is specialized in microprocessor architecture and design and has over 35 years of experiences at Motorola, AMD, Intel, ADI, Centaur Technologies, TI, MediaTek, Freescale Semiconductor, and Synopsys. His notable microprocessors are AMD Athlon, ARM Cortex-A8, and ARC HS. He has designed microprocessors with different types of instruction sets: ARC, ARM, PowerPC, x86, MIPS and ADI-DSP. He also teaches MIPS microprocessor design at Viet Nam National University in Ho Chi Minh City and Computer Architecture at Santa Clara University in California (adjunct professor). Thang has 150+ granted patents and many more pending patent applications.
On personal note, Thang is operational director of Hope for Viet Orphans, hope4vietorphans.org, and member of board-of-director of VNHelp, vnhelp.org.