Intel and Microsoft jointly created the Universal Parallel Computing Research Center (UPCRC) program. UPCRC illustrates some of the features of an ideal URO program: a clear research goal and agenda, the potential for significant strategic impact on Intel and the industry, a long range research horizon, a multi-year funding commitment, and significant Intel engagement and collaboration.
The URO awarded grants to academic teams from the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to explore forward-looking techniques for simplified parallel programming that take advantage of today’s multi-core processors. The multi-year funding gave them the freedom to immerse themselves in this research area and the opportunity to collaborate with some of the sharpest researchers from Intel and Microsoft.
In just three years, these joint academic-industry teams have produced groundbreaking results that are influencing the strategic directions and product offerings of Intel and Microsoft. In addition, their success spurred the University of California Discovery Grant program and others to make follow-on funding available to the universities. This research has also had a broader impact, with multiple organizations building on the parallelism curriculum that the centers developed.
For Intel, Microsoft, and our academic partners, this program represents how the industry and academia can work together to make the technologies of tomorrow closer to reality today.