Chip Design is Pretty Cool: An Intro to Hardware for Software Engineers

  • Date Wednesday, April 03, 2019  Time 11:00 AM
  • Speaker William Koven, Galois Research Engineer
  • Location Galois Inc., 421 SW 6th Ave. Suite 300, Portland, OR, USA, (3rd floor of the Commonwealth building)
  • Galois is pleased to host the following tech talk.
    These talks are open to the interested public--please join us!
    (There is no need to pre-register for the talk.)

    The presentation will be live streamed on Galois's YouTube channel.


This talk will present some of the basic principles of chip design including an overview of how chips are manufactured. Then I will give an overview of the complexity of chip design by focusing on addition. While it may seem like a basic operation, people have spent careers optimizing arithmetic circuits like adders. I will present the theory of adder design, including some math! Then we will explore the tradeoffs of parallelized adder design with many different design examples. Finally, I will present some advanced adder design methods you won’t normally find in a textbook. I will conclude by putting a single addition into the context of a full chip design in order to underscore the overall system complexity.


William Koven is a Galois research engineer. Previously he was co-founder and CEO of Reduced Energy Microsystems (REM), a company focused on low power, high-performance edge computing. He received his B.S. in engineering from Harvey Mudd College, where he was a Clay-Wolkin Fellow. Prior to co-founding REM, William worked at AMD and at Intel in both product groups and Intel Labs. He has been involved in many production chip tapeouts as well as research chip development. He has also developed several novel asynchronous circuit architectures and continues to be heavily involved in the asynchronous design community.