Peter Diamandis heard his calling when he was 12 years old--winning first place in the Estes Rocket Design Competition by creating a system capable of simultaneously launching three rockets. Later, while in college at MIT, he co-founded “Students for the Exploration and Development of Space” and later at Harvard Medical School he co-founded the Space Generation Foundation.
All Diamandis’ interest in space exploration culminated, however, when he founded the X Prize Foundation for which he is CEO today. Since then he co-founded with Ray Kurzweil the Singularity University for which he serves as chairman today, and in 2012 he co-authored with Steven Kotler the New York Times bestselling book “Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think” which sums up his pioneering attitude:
“We have ability to solve almost all of man’s grand challenges in next 30 years,” said Diamandis about his book.
Grand Challenges are nothing new -- Charles Lindbergh, for instance, was the first to fly his Spirit of St. Louis plane from New York City to Paris nonstop in 1927. Diamandis was inspired by Lindbergh’s accomplishment, but even more so for the meager prize offered by a New York hotel owner.
“Limburger was first to fly across the Atlantic ocean, but he only won a $25,000 prize,” said Diamandis. “He had spent something like 16 times more than prize money to win it.”
Using that model, Diamandis has become famous by pioneering a series of grand challenges which began with the original X Prize to create a consumer-grade spacecraft -- one of his dreams since childhood.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.