Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
James Smith’s award recognizes the fundamental contributions of his research publications and patent in the development of high speed, high performance microprocessors. Twenty years ago, a microprocessor with 100,000 transistors could execute the instructions of a program one at a time, taking tens of clock cycles. Today, microprocessors hold tens of millions of transistors and execute multiple instructions in a single clock cycle. Smith’s work contributed innovations in computer architecture that made possible this improvement to instruction processing rates.