Professor John Hennessy
and Professor David Patterson (University of California, Berkeley) have received the BBVA Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Information and Communications Technologies
. Their citation reads, "for turning computer architecture into a science and designing the processors that
power today’s devices. […] They conceived the scientific field of computer architecture, motivated a systematic and quantitative design approach to system performance, created a style of reduced instruction set processors that has transformed how industry builds computer systems, and have made transformative advancements in computer reliability and in large-scale system coherence”.
“Professors John Hennessy and David Patterson are synonymous with the inception and formalization of this field,” the citation reads. “Before their work, the design of computers – and in particular the measurement of computer performance – was more of an art than a science, and practitioners lacked a set of repeatable principles to conceptualize and evaluate computer designs. Patterson and Hennessy
provided, for the first time, a conceptual framework that gave the field a grounded approach towards measuring a computer’s performance, energy efficiency, and complexity.”
The new laureates’ scientific contributions had their didactic parallel in a landmark textbook, Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach
, which three decades on from its first release and after six editions with regularly updated content, is still considered “the bible” for the discipline in universities around the world.