The purpose of the Computer Architecture and Technology Laboratory is to explore systems that consider computer architecture, emerging applications, and VLSI technology together. Our goals are both to address the problems posed by semiconductor manufacturing process trends, and to develop architectures that show greatly increased performance when running key emerging applications.
The principal investigators involved with this effort are Dr. Doug Burger and Dr. Stephen W. Keckler, two professors of computer architecture in the Department of Computer Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin.
In CART, we will have a strong emphasis on experimental computer system research. The faculty and students in the laboratory will develop architectural simulators, implement applications, and design and build prototype chips and systems as necessary to evaluate the architectures. Low-level implementation (whether it be RTL or actual silicon) is vital because silicon technology provides a set of fundamental constraints on computer systems -- proposed architectures that ignore it run the risk of potential irrelevance. Two laboratories are planned: one for application development and simulation, and one for low-level design testing and prototyping. The software laboratory will need computation engines for architectural simulation, logical simulation, circuit simulation, and graphical EDA tools for chip and board level design. In addition, the CART hardware lab will be equipped with logic analyzers, oscilloscopes, signal generators, and other tools necessary for hardware system prototyping.