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David Donofrio to Lead Computer Architecture Group

June 25, 2015

Contact: Linda Vu, +1 510 495 2402,


David Donofrio

David Donofrio—a veteran Computer Systems Engineer at Berkeley Lab—has been selected to lead the new Computer Architecture Group in the Computational Research Division (CRD). The group’s mission is to research, design and implement new architectural simulation capabilities, novel hardware architecture features, assess design trade-offs, and facilitate the co-design process for leading-edge high performance computing (HPC) systems. 

Donofrio’s Berkeley Lab career began in 2008, when he joined the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center’s (NERSC’s) Advanced Technologies Group to work on the Green Flash and CoDEX (Co-Design for Exascale) projects. His work focused on the design of large scale, power efficient, parallel computing architectures based on small, low-powered embedded processors that may one-day break the exaflop barrier and run next-generation scientific codes. 

Before coming to Berkeley Lab, Donofrio spent six years at Intel Corporation as a computer architect, where he helped design the next-generation of integrated 3D graphics processors for Intel’s chipsets.  He holds 6 patents on the design of the floating point for the GMA graphics processor.  In 2011, he left Berkeley Lab to work as a Senior Performance Analyst of all Mac computers—including iMac, MacBook, MacAir, MacPro, etc.—at Apple Inc. But, he returned to Berkeley Lab’s Future Technologies Group in 2012 to join the Computer Architecture Laboratory (CAL) to work on the design and simulation of exascale class HPC systems. His research spans many types of architectures, including System-on-Chip design for HPC to real-time signal processing for neuroscience research. 

John Shalf, who heads CRD’s Computer Science Department, notes that Donofrio’s long-standing interest in computer architecture and performance, as well as his understanding of the computing problems at Berkeley Lab and the Department of Energy make him an ideal candidate to lead the Computer Architecture group.

“Berkeley and Sandia are the National Labs leading the architecture part of DOE’s exascale research portfolio, and the Computer Architecture Group is central to this work. Dave’s experience and leadership will be a great asset to the team,” says Shalf. 

 Donofrio currently has eight patents in computer architecture.