He is working on domain-specific computer architectures for machine learning. He is also Google’s representative and on the Board of Directors of the RISC-V Foundation, whose goal is to make the free and open RISC-V instruction set architecture as popular for hardware as Linux is for operating systems.
Dave's research style is to identify critical questions for the IT industry and gather inter-disciplinary groups of researchers to answer them. The answer is typically embodied in demonstration systems, and these demonstration systems are later mirrored in commercial products. The best-known projects were Reduced Instruction Set Computers (RISC), Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks (RAID), and Networks of Workstations (NOW), each of which helped lead to billion dollar industries.
A measure of the success of projects is the list of awards won by Patterson and as his teammates: the C & C Prize, the IEEE von Neumann Medal, the IEEE Johnson Storage Award, the SIGMOD Test of Time award, the ACM-IEEE Eckert-Mauchly Award, and the Katayanagi Prize. He was also elected to both AAAS societies, the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Sciences, the Silicon Valley Engineering Hall of Fame, and to be a Fellow of the Computer History Museum. The full list includes about 35 awards for research, teaching, service, and outreach.
In his spare time he coauthored six books, including two with John Hennessy. He also served as Chair of the Computer Science Division at UC Berkeley, Chair of the Computing Research Association, and President of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).
Outside of work he plays soccer, cycles, and lifts weights. He has been married to his high-school sweetheart since 1967, and they have raised two sons, who in turn raised three grandchildren.
Norman P. Jouppi, Cliff Young, Nishant Patil, David Patterson, Gaurav Agrawal, Raminder Bajwa, Sarah Bates, Suresh Bhatia, Nan Boden, Al Borchers, Rick Boyle, Pierre-luc Cantin, Clifford Chao, Chris Clark, Jeremy Coriell, Mike Daley, Matt Dau, Jeffrey Dean, Ben Gelb, Tara Vazir Ghaemmaghami, Rajendra Gottipati, William Gulland, Robert Hagmann, C. Richard Ho, Doug Hogberg, John Hu, Robert Hundt, Dan Hurt, Julian Ibarz, Aaron Jaffey, Alek Jaworski, Alexander Kaplan, Harshit Khaitan, Andy Koch, Naveen Kumar, Steve Lacy, James Laudon, James Law, Diemthu Le, Chris Leary, Zhuyuan Liu, Kyle Lucke, Alan Lundin, Gordon MacKean, Adriana Maggiore, Maire Mahony, Kieran Miller, Rahul Nagarajan, Ravi Narayanaswami, Ray Ni, Kathy Nix, Thomas Norrie, Mark Omernick, Narayana Penukonda, Andy Phelps, Jonathan Ross
ISCA (2017) (to appear)