With the introduction of the first commercial programmable logic devices (PLD) in the mid-'70s, the door was opened to a host of applications including telecommunications, audio and video broadcasting and storage where the combination of performance, cost and power efficiency are particularly important.
Programmable logic blurs the line between software and hardware. These chips contain a program in its memory that allows them to be re-programmed. That sounds like software. But the program creates logic gates and wires connecting them. That sounds like hardware. Performance improvement gained by using programmable logic instead of microprocessors can be a factor of one hundred, with comparable power reduction to match. But today we don't see programmable logic computers. Or at least, we don't know them when we see them. Do we need new definitions and new dividing lines?
Steve Trimberger, holder of over 150 PLD patents and Xilinx Fellow, will discuss the challenges and key milestones in the development of programmable logic and its impact on computing history. He will outline the successes and failures of configurable computing, and discuss the prospects for the future in this thought provoking session. Join us as the CHM continues celebrating the Salute to the Semiconductor with this Soundbyte event on Wednesday, July 22, 2009. Bring your brown bag lunch and enjoy this informative and engaging discussion from 12 pm to 1 pm at the Computer History Museum!
Computer History Museum
1401 N. Shoreline Boulevard
Mountain View, CA, 94043