Research on bespoke processors conducted by Prof. John Sartori’s group has been gaining currency recently. So what are bespoke processors? Conventional microprocessors used to drive embedded systems as seen in wearable and Internet of Things devices usually run a single application. However to ensure programmability and flexibility, these chips carry a large number of circuits, most of which will never see any action. This is a waste when you consider the power consumed and the of cost of fabricating such a processor. And eliminating this waste is exactly what ECE’s Prof. John Sartori, and Prof. Rakesh Kumar (University of Illinois), and their team of students have been working on.
Their answer to the problem is a redesign of the conventional microprocessor. By identifying the logic gates that are not utilized for the specific application, and removing them, they are left with what they term a “bespoke processor.” Such a processor is smaller and left with the only the circuitry for the required application. Learn more about their research on bespoke processors and the potential they hold for the design of application specific processors, in IEEE SPECTRUM.