Fifty Years of ISCA: A data-driven retrospective on key trends


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Computer Architecture, broadly, involves optimizing hardware and software for current and future processing systems. Although there are several other top venues to publish Computer Architecture research, including ASPLOS, HPCA, and MICRO, ISCA (the International Symposium on Computer Architecture) is one of the oldest, longest running, and most prestigious venues for publishing Computer Architecture research. Since 1973, except for 1975, ISCA has been organized annually. Accordingly, this year will be the 50th year of ISCA. Thus, we set out to analyze the past 50 years of ISCA to understand who and what has been driving and innovating computing systems in that timeframe. This analysis is intended to be a celebration of the first 50 years of ISCA. Thus, the scope should be viewed accordingly. Although we took care to practice good data collection and sanitation in our analysis (Section 2), given the long time frame and issues with digital records for early years of the conference, there may be some errors and rounding-off artifacts. Please reach out if you have any corrections and we can update our Arxiv draft to reflect this errata. Finally, while the collected data and analysis highlight several interesting trends, akin to the cautionary comment from the ISCA Hall of Fame website ("A real Hall of Fame should be determined by impact, not paper count."), we want to acknowledge that some of our numbers may only reflect a partial narrative. That said, our exercise still highlights several interesting trends that we think will be insightful to the broader community.
isca,key trends,retrospective,data-driven
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