Microsoft Research Blog

The Microsoft Research blog provides in-depth views and perspectives from our researchers, scientists and engineers, plus information about noteworthy events and conferences, scholarships, and fellowships designed for academic and scientific communities.

Microsoft Quantum Challenge results are in!

By Judith Bishop, Director of Computer Science, Microsoft Research Throughout his life, Albert Einstein, who pioneered the theory of relativity, was skeptical about quantum computing. He was of the opinion that the quantum mechanical theory was incomplete, and was “spooky action at a distance.” How far we’ve come since then! In the last three decades, quantum algorithms have been developed that offer fast solutions to problems in a variety of fields, including number theory, optimization,…

May 2016

Microsoft Research Blog

MICRO-48 highlights diverse research topics

The 48th International Symposium on Microarchitecture happened last December and brought interesting discussions to bear. On the technical side, there were three very inspiring keynote speeches and a number of great presentations. The regular paper presentations were also very diverse, covering all the way from cache design, memory prefetching, and memory optimization, to hardware security, energy efficiency and hardware accelerators. The first keynote was by Prof. Jan Rabaey from UC Berkeley, who discussed the implications of wearable…

January 2016

Microsoft Research Blog

IEEE Fellow Sengupta transformed cloud computing, data storage, network routing

By George Thomas Jr., Writer, Microsoft For Sudipta Sengupta, Microsoft Research is a magical place. “At Microsoft and the places I was at previously, my work has often been in collaboration with researchers and engineers, so I have benefitted a lot from interacting with and learning from my colleagues,” he says. A principal researcher in Microsoft’s research lab in Redmond, Washington, Sengupta’s collaborations have resulted in such groundbreaking work in networking and data storage and…

December 2015

Microsoft Research Blog

Project Catapult servers available to academic researchers

By Derek Chiou, Partner Architect, Microsoft At this year’s Supercomputing 2015 Conference in Austin, Texas, Microsoft is announcing the availability of Project Catapult clusters to academic researchers through the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at The University of Texas at Austin. Project Catapult, a Microsoft research venture, offers a groundbreaking way to vastly improve the performance and energy efficiency of datacenter workloads. Project Catapult uses standard Microsoft datacenter servers—each augmented with field-programmable gate array (FPGA).…

November 2015

Microsoft Research Blog

The end of Moore’s law? Oh, not again…

“Moore’s law” is the observation that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit will double approximately every two years. For the past 50 years, we have relied on Moore’s Law to provide increasing functionality at faster speeds and lower cost. Cheap, fast, and small transistors have allowed a supercomputer from the 70s, which at the time took up the space of a whole room and cost millions of dollars, to become small enough and…

September 2015

Microsoft Research Blog

Sora high performance software radio is now open source

Posted by Jane Ma Microsoft researchers today announced that their high-performance software radio project is now open sourced through GitHub. The goal for Microsoft Research Software Radio (Sora) is to develop the most advanced software radio possible, capable of implementing the latest wireless communication technology easily and efficiently. “We believe that a fully open source Sora will better support the research community on more scientific innovation,” said Kun Tan, a senior research on the software…

July 2015

Microsoft Research Blog

2015 Faculty Summit informs and inspires

The 2015 Microsoft Research Faculty Summit is over, but I am still recovering my voice from all the great hallway conversations! The summit reminded my fellow Microsoft researchers, our myriad collaborators in academia, and me of what we have already accomplished and the exciting opportunities ahead. Harold Javid blogged about day one of the summit in detail, but I would like to call out a few of my own takeaways from that day. First, I…

July 2015

Microsoft Research Blog

Exploring the frontiers of computing

The sun shone brightly in Redmond yesterday, matching the intensity of 600 experts—each anticipating the sharing and acquisition of computing research knowledge—gathered in the Microsoft Conference Center for day one of the 2015 Microsoft Research Faculty Summit. These days, it is common for most audiences to half listen, heads down, focused on their tablets and smartphones—the very devices that have emanated from their collective labors. I was comforted to see that this was not the…

July 2015

Microsoft Research Blog

Machine Learning Gets Big Boost from Ultra-Efficient Convolutional Neural Network Accelerator

Posted by Doug Burger Editor’s note: Doug Burger, a processor architect by training, is a Microsoft researcher focused on disrupting the very fabric of datacenter processing power in a mobile-first, cloud-first world. I’m excited to highlight a breakthrough in high-performance machine learning from Microsoft researchers. Before describing our results, some background may be helpful. The high-level architecture of datacenter servers has been generally stable for many years, based on some combination of CPUs, DRAM, Ethernet,…

February 2015

Microsoft Research Blog

Trill Moves Big Data Faster, by Orders of Magnitude

Posted by George Thomas Jr. In today’s high-productivity computing environments that process dizzying amounts of data each millisecond, a research project named for “a trillion events per day” may seem relatively ordinary. But when you understand that Trill, a new high-performance streaming analytics engine developed by Microsoft researchers, can process data at two to four orders of magnitude faster than today’s streaming engines, well, now you’re getting into “wow” territory, especially considering Trill is just…

January 2015

Microsoft Research Blog

The Code That No One in the Cloud Can Live Without

Posted by Rob Knies A couple of years ago, a few Microsoft researchers published a couple of interesting papers on storage efficiencies. Now, with breathtaking speed, the concepts in those papers have been embraced across the cloud-computing world. Technological change can occur at lightning speed. Parikshit Gopalan, Cheng Huang, and Sergey Yekhanin can testify to that. In November 2012, Gopalan, Huang, and Yekhanin, along with Huseyin Simitci of Windows Azure Storage (now Microsoft Azure Storage),…

July 2014

Microsoft Research Blog