Colloquium: Software-Configured Compute Environments

Red Hat Collaboratory at Boston University Colloquium

Ulrich Drepper

Engineer, Office of the CTO, Red Hat

Software-Configured Compute Environments


Hardware and software environments are designed as a compromise between many different requirements. This sacrifices performance, among other aspects, while at the same time the need for compute increases.

Specialists can certainly create more optimized systems. The challenge is to automate this.

To research these new systems we need hardware specialists to create re-configurable processors, compiler writers to deduce the best architecture from source code and generate configurations for hardware and OS, improved OSes to efficiently run that code. All that while preserving API and ideally ABI compatibility. First steps toward this are already on the way in the BU/Red Hat collaboration with the OpenShell project to utilize FPGAs as a suitable platform and the Linux-based unikernel project to optimize the runtime environment.


Ulrich Drepper joined Red Hat again in 2017, after a seven year hiatus when he worked for Goldman Sachs. He is part of the office of the CTO and concentrates on technologies for machine learning and high-performance computing. At Goldman Sachs he worked in the technology division, in the last position as a member of the data science research group. His previous stint at Red Hat lasted 14 years. The last position was as member of the office of the CTO to collect and disseminate information relevant to the Red Hat Enterprise Linux product.

His main interests are in the areas of low-level technologies like machine and processor architectures, programming language, compilers, high-performance and low-latency computing. In addition he is interested in using statistics and machine learning for performance analysis of programs and security of application and OS environments. He worked on several revisions of the POSIX standard and was invited expert for both the C and C++ standard committees. Ulrich received his Diploma in Informatics from the University of Karlsruhe, Germany.


  • 11:30 AM – 12:00 PM: Pizza & Networking
  • 12:00 – 1:00 PM: Talk and Discussion


Contact the Collaboratory with any questions you may have about this event.

Recording of Event

This talk was held as scheduled. A recording can be accessed here.  Slides can be accessed here.