Valuing the African Genius

Profile reviewed: January 2, 2017

First publication: November 2013

Source: Arsenalfc (Stanford University)

Kunle Olukotun

Oyekunle (Kunle) Ayinde Olukotun, from Nigeria, is a pioneer of multi-core processors. He is well known for leading the Stanford Hydra research project which developed one of the first chip multiprocessors with support for thread-level speculation (TLS). He is also a cadence design systems professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Stanford University, and the director of the Standford Pervasive Parallelism Laboratory.

In the mid-1990s, Kunle Olukotun and his co-authors argued that multi-core computer processors were likely to make better use of hardware than existing superscalar designs. In 2000, while a professor at Stanford, he founded Afara Websystems, a company that designed and manufactured multi-core SPARC-based computer processors for data centers.

Afara was purchased by Sun Microsystems in 2002. At Sun, Kunle Olukotun was one of the architects of the 2005 UltraSPARC T1 processor. In 2008, he returned to Stanford and founded the Pervasive Parallelism Laboratory. His recent work focuses on domain-specific programming languages that can allow algorithms to be easily adapted to multiple different types of parallel hardware, including multi-core systems, graphics processing units, and field-programmable gate arrays.

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