Portrait of Doug Burger

Doug Burger

Distinguished Engineer, MSR NExT


Doug Burger is one of the world’s leading active researchers in computer architecture, with a broad set of important contributions to his credit. After receiving his PhD from University of Wisconsin in 1998, he joined UT Austin as a professor, receiving tenure in 2004 and becoming a full professor in 2008.  His work on Explicit Data Graph Computing (EDGE) represents the fourth major class of instruction-set architectures (after CISC, RISC, and VLIW).   At U. Texas, he co-led the project that conceived and built the TRIPS processor, an ambitious multicore ASIC and working EDGE system, which remains one of the most complex microprocessor prototypes ever built in academia. A number of Doug’s research contributions, such as non-uniform cache architectures (NUCA caches), are now shipping in Intel, ARM, and IBM microprocessors. He has been recognized as an IEEE Fellow and ACM Fellow, and in 2006 received the ACM Maurice Wilkes Award for his early contributions to the field.  He is the co-inventor of more than fifty U.S. patents, including six with Bill Gates.

Doug joined Microsoft in 2008, believing that Microsoft is the right place to do amazing architecture work with huge impact. Since then, he has had significant influence on both the company’s products and its technical strategy. He co-founded and co-leads Project Catapult, which set the goal of designing the right post-CPU acceleration architecture for next-generation hyperscale clouds.  This work produced the Configurable Cloud architecture, based on network-attached FPGAs, that is now is central to Microsoft’s cloud strategy.  This project has enabled teams across Microsoft to drive major advances in artificial intelligence/deep learning, Bing ranking, cloud networking, storage efficiency, security, and large-scale service acceleration.

His current group (Hardware, Devices, and Experiences) is highly interdisciplinary, working in areas as diverse as cloud acceleration, silicon architectures, mobile app ecosystem architecture, new optical devices, and machine learning.

More information about his research and publications can be found on his CV.


Project Catapult

Established: June 1, 2011

Researchers interested into utilizing Catapult - visit Project Catapult Academic Program. Project Catapult is the technology behind Microsoft’s hyperscale acceleration fabric, and is at the center of a comprehensive set of investments Microsoft is making to build a supercomputing substrate that can accelerate our efforts in networking, security, cloud services and artificial intelligence. Our work in this area started in 2010 in response to: Stresses in the silicon ecosystem driven by diminishing rates of CPU…


Achieving the right balance of power and performance for an application is challenging with today's multicore processors. E2 solves this problem by providing the capability for cores to dynamically adapt their resources during execution to provide highly efficient power/performance hardware configurations for a wide range of workloads. Explicit Data Graph Execution At the heart of E2 is an advanced Explicit Data Graph Execution (EDGE) instruction set architecture (ISA), which unlike conventional ISAs: Encodes the data dependencies between…



A Cloud-Scale Acceleration Architecture
Adrian Caulfield, Eric Chung, Andrew Putnam, Hari Angepat, Jeremy Fowers, Michael Haselman, Stephen Heil, Matt Humphrey, Puneet Kaur, Joo-Young Kim, Daniel Lo, Todd Massengill, Kalin Ovtcharov, Michael Papamichael, Lisa Woods, Sitaram Lanka, Derek Chiou, Doug Burger, IEEE Computer Society, October 15, 2016, View abstract, Download PDF


A Reconfigurable Fabric for Accelerating Large-Scale Datacenter Services (IEEE MICRO Top Pick)
Andrew Putnam, Adrian Caulfield, Eric Chung, Derek Chiou, Kypros Constantinides, John Demme, Hadi Esmaeilzadeh, Jeremy Fowers, Gopi Prashanth Gopal, Jan Gray, Michael Haselman, Scott Hauck, Stephen Heil, Amir Hormati, Joo-Young Kim, Sitaram Lanka, James Larus, Eric Peterson, Simon Pope, Aaron Smith, Jason Thong, Phillip Yi Xiao, Doug Burger, in IEEE Micro, IEEE, May 13, 2015, View abstract, Download PDF, View external link





Pocket Cloudlets
Emmanouil Koukoumidis, Dimitrios Lymberopoulos, Karin Strauss, Jie Liu, Doug Burger, in ASPLOS 2011 (International Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems, ACM, March 1, 2011, View abstract, Download PDF



An Evaluation of the TRIPS Computer System
Mark Gebhart, Bertrand A. Maher, Katherine E. Coons, Jeff Diamond, Paul Gratz, Mario Marino, Nitya Ranganathan, Behnam Robatmili, Aaron Smith, James Burrill, Stephen W. Keckler, Doug Burger, Kathryn S McKinley, in International Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems (ASPLOS), ACM, March 7, 2009, View abstract, View external link



Dataflow Predication
Aaron Smith, Ramadass Nagarajan, Karthikeyan Sankaralingam, Robert McDonald, Doug Burger, Stephen W. Keckler, Kathryn McKinley, in 39th International Symposium on Microarchitecture (MICRO), IEEE/ACM, December 1, 2006, View abstract, Download PDF


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July 14, 2014


Desney Tan, Doug Burger, Krysta M. Svore, and Mary Gray


Microsoft Research