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The Pinkerton Lecture is held annually in honour and memory of John Pinkerton who built the first business computer in the UK. As early as 1947 the catering firm of J. Lyons decided that the future lay with computers, and since nothing suitable was available, they resolved to build one and recruited Pinkerton to do so. This lecture will be held for the first time in India and the IET is delighted to welcome Mr. N. R. Narayana Murthy as the chief guest.
Steve Furber CBE FRS FREng FIET FBCS is the ICL Professor of Computer Engineering in the School of Computer Science at the University of Manchester. He received his B.A. degree in Mathematics in 1974 and his Ph.D. in Aerodynamics in 1980 from the University of Cambridge. From1981 to 1990 he worked in the hardware development group within the R&D department at Acorn Computers Ltd, and was a principal designer of the BBC Microcomputer and the ARM 32-bit RISC microprocessor.
The ARM is now the world’s highest-volume 32-bit microprocessor, with total shipments exceeding 20 billion. At Manchester he leads the Advanced Processor Technologies research group. His awards include a Royal Academy of Engineering Silver Medal, the IET Faraday Medal, and he was a 2010 Millenium Technology Prize Laureate.
This year’s lecture will focus on the revolution of the microchip technology and its developments in the future. The first sixty years of computing have seen spectacular progress in the technology, driven for the last forty years by Moore's Law which, though initially an observation, has become a self-fulfilling prophecy and a board-room planning tool. Ever shrinking transistor dimensions have yielded increasingly complex and cost-effective microchips, a win-win scenario that has driven the explosion in the use of digital electronics and enabled computers to be embedded into a vast range of high-volume products.
However, there are limits to how small a transistor can be made, and we can no longer assume that smaller circuits will go faster, or be more power-efficient. As we approach atomic limits device variability is beginning to hurt, and the cost of microchip design is spiralling upwards. On the desktop, technology changes are driving a trend away from high-speed uniprocessors towards multi-core, and soon many-core, processors, despite the fact that general-purpose parallel programming remains one of the great unsolved problems of computer science.
If the cost-effectiveness of microchip technology is to continue to improve there are major challenges ahead involving understanding how to build reliable systems on increasingly unreliable technology and how to exploit parallelism increasingly effectively, not only to improve performance, but also to mask the consequences of component failure.
Biological systems demonstrate many of the properties we aspire to incorporate into our engineered technology, so perhaps that suggests a possible source of ideas that we could seek to incorporate into future novel computation systems? Current research at Manchester into the development of the “Brain Box” computer is a contribution to the computing grand challenge of ‘understanding the architecture of brain and mind’, and will provide a platform for the investigation of these important issues that face the microchip industry in the near future.
N. R. Narayana Murthy is the Founder-Chairman of Infosys Technologies Limited, a global software consulting company headquartered in Bangalore, India. He founded Infosys in 1981. Under his leadership, Infosys was listed on NASDAQ in 1999.
Mr. Murthy articulated, designed and implemented the Global Delivery Model which has become the foundation for the huge success in IT services outsourcing from India. He has led key corporate governance initiatives in India. He is an IT advisor to several Asian countries.
He serves on the boards of HSBC, Ford Foundation and the UN Foundation. He served as a member of the Unilever board between 2007 and 2010. He also serves on the boards of Cornell University, Wharton School, Singapore Management University, Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, Indian institute of Management Technology, Bangalore and INSEAD.
The Economist ranked Narayana Murthy among the ten most-admired global business leaders in 2005. He topped the Economic Times list of India’s most powerful CEO’s for three consecutive years: 2004 to 2006. He has been awarded the Padma Vibhushan by the Government of India, the Legion d’honneur by the Government of France, and the CBE by the British government. He is the first Indian winner of Ernst and Young’s World Entrepreneur of the year award and the Max Schmidheiny Liberty prize, and has appeared in the rankings of businessmen and innovators published by India Today, Business Standard, Forbes, BusinessWeek, Time, CNN, Fortune and Financial Times. He is a Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering and a foreign member of the US National Academy of Engineering.
For information regarding registration, lecture invitation and sponsorship, please contact:
Attendance of this inaugural Pinkerton Lecture in India is free for IET members and by invitation only to non members.
November 26, 2010 — 10:30 pm to
November 27, 2010 — 1:00 am
Infosys Technologies Ltd.
Electronic City, Hosur Road,