Princeton University

School of Engineering & Applied Science

Daniel Lustig honored for developments in open-source 'memory model'

December 6, 2018

Daniel Lustig, who received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Princeton in 2015, has been awarded the inaugural Board of Directors' Award from the RISC-V Foundation, a group of engineers that hopes to increase innovation in computer processors through a collaborative, open-source approach to their architecture.

Krste Asanović, chairman of the board, presented the award to Lustig on December 4 at the foundation's 2018 summit in Santa Clara, CA. Lustig was recognized for his "leadership and technical contributions" to computer memory that works within the open-source architecture, allowing for its implementation across a wide range of uses and contexts. Lustig currently works as a senior research scientist at NVIDIA Corporation, where he chairs the memory model task group.

“The RISC-V Foundation’s open-source approach is changing the way the industry collaborates, creating an ecosystem and community like no other," Lustig said in accepting the award, according MarketWatch. He went on to say that the process allows "the best experts from academia and industry to build, create and deliver."

A computer's most basic abstraction — its architecture, known as the instruction set or ISA — provides an interface between the hardware and the software, giving rise to the operations that make electronic machines useful for computation. A minimalist approach to this architecture gained popularity in academic circles in the 1980s, leading to a paradigm known as reduced intruction set computing (RISC), simplifying computer systems from the bottom up. RISC-V (pronounced "risk-five") began in 2010 as a project between Asanović and David Patterson, both of the University of California, Berkeley, and since grown to include more than 200 members. Proponents hope RISC-V will spur innovation by making optimized design methods available to developers of all kinds, allowing the most efficient and adaptable approaches to prevail regardless of the commercial success of any one company.

Lustig's work with RISC-V builds on his dissertation, which sought to better understand and improve communication between the various core elements of modern computer processors.