Dave Patterson wins 2022 NAI Charles Stark Draper Prize for Engineering

CS Prof. Emeritus David Patterson has won the 2022 Charles Stark Draper Prize for Engineering from the National Academy of Engineering (NAE).  Recognized as one of the world's preeminent awards for engineering achievement, the prize "honors an engineer whose accomplishment has significantly impacted society by improving the quality of life, providing the ability to live freely and comfortably, and/or permitting the access to information."  Patterson, and his co-recipients, John Hennessy, Stephen Furber, and Sophie Wilson, were cited "for contributions to the invention, development, and implementation of reduced instruction set computer (RISC) chips."  Patterson began the seminal Berkeley RISC project in 1980 to design a basic, neutral, freely-available set of microprocessor instructions that could be used in different types of machines and which could be optimized for different characteristics, like efficiency, physical size, and monetary cost.  When different devices are capable of running the same machine code, a better quality, higher-performance machine can replace a less expensive, lower-performance machine without having to replace software.  The open-source Berkeley RISC design was later commercialized by Sun Microsystems as the SPARC architecture, and inspired the ARM architecture used in virtually all new computer chips in the world today.  The biennial Draper prize is open to both NAE members and non-members worldwide, and comes with a $500K cash award.