Circuit Break Podcast #437: Embarrassingly Parallel Computing - Steve Furber

Podcast Title: Embarrassingly Parallel Computing - Steve Furber

Release Date: 2024-06-28

Episode: #437

In this episode of Circuit Break, hosts Parker Dillmann and Stephen Kraig interview Steve Furber, Professor Emeritus of Computer Engineering at the University of Manchester. They discuss his early career at Acorn Computers, the development of the BBC Micro and the ARM processor, and his work on the SpiNNaker project, which models brain functions using a million ARM processors. Furber shares insights into the challenges and successes of these projects and provides advice for aspiring engineers.

Podcast Audio:

Podcast Notes:

Key Discussion Points

  • Steve Furber’s early career at Acorn Computers
  • Development of the BBC Microcomputer
  • Challenges faced in early computer development
  • Design philosophy behind the ARM processor
  • ARM’s widespread adoption and current export restrictions
  • The SpiNNaker project and its applications
  • Evolution of neuromorphic computing and AI
  • Personal interests and hobbies, including playing bass guitar
  • Advice for aspiring engineers and future computing technologies
  • Hypothetical career scenarios and advice to his younger self

Relevant Links

Community Questions

  • What are your thoughts on the evolution of the ARM processor from its inception to its current applications?
  • How do you see neuromorphic computing impacting future AI developments?
  • What advice would you give to young engineers interested in computer engineering today?


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Hey guys. Great discussion!

I have one separate comment about the editing of the audio – Do you use some sort of automated “um & uh” remover? It seems very… “eager”, and often times good audio get clipped off just a bit, but enough to make my brain twitch and gives me this profound anxiety thinking about when the next blip is coming. It’s probably my misophonia…

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Do you have an example time stamp? I’ll chat with our editor.

Our editor is making some changes to hopefully improve and fix this problem

Sorry! I was just listening to the podcast this morning and realized I didn’t respond. So far, haven’t heard it in this episode. Thanks!

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