Provost’s Chair Professor Peh Li Shiuan clinches MICRO Test of Time Award

27 November 2023
Provost’s Chair Professor Peh Li Shiuan

The ACM Special Interest Group on Microarchitecture (SIGMICRO) has awarded NUS Computing’s Provost’s Chair Professor Peh Li Shiuan the Test of Time (TOT) award. This accolade is reserved for the most influential papers that have been published at the IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Microarchitecture (between 18 to 22 years ago) and have left a significant impact in the area of computer microarchitecture.

 The winning paper, “Orion: A Power-Performance Simulator for Interconnection Networks,” a product of her collaboration with Professor Sharad Malik, and PhD students Wang Hangsheng and Zhu Xinping at Princeton University, was published at a 2002 MICRO conference.

The key development in the paper, Orion, is an interconnection network simulator that models the power and performance of different components of the network routers and links. The benefits of Orion have been demonstrated in several different contexts, including determining systems parameters, examining system performance under diverse traffic conditions, and testing new network microarchitectures. The model’s capability to simultaneously monitor power and performance characteristics enables engineers to easily experiment in the design space at the architecture level.

“It was proposed at a time when there were no on-chip networks, which led to it being fairly widely used in multiple research areas in academia (e.g., computer architecture, CAD, and VLSI), and in industry,” noted Prof Peh on the impact of the paper. The paper was also awarded for being the first to address the need for studying architectural-level mechanisms to enhance the power efficiency of on-chip interconnection networks. As of the current writing, this paper has garnered over 1000 citations on Google Scholar.

On receiving the award, she recalled an anecdote, “This paper is especially memorable as it was my first paper as an assistant professor at Princeton University. I still recall running around at some airport trying to find a Wi-Fi connection while working on the paper’s formulas on the paper submission deadline.”

Prof Peh received the award at the 56th IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Microarchitecture which was held in Toronto, Canada from 28 October to 1 November 2023.

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