The 2009 inductees include 10 living inventors and five deceased. The 2009 class of inductees: LIVING -- Martin M. (John) Atalla: MOS transistor -- Alfred Y. Cho: Molecular beam epitaxy-MBE -- Dov Frohman-Bentchkowsky: EPROM -- George Heilmeier: Liquid crystal display -- Larry Hornbeck: Digital micromirror device-DMD -- John Macdougall, Ken Manchester: Ion implantation -- Carver Mead: VLSI method for designing chips -- Gordon Moore: Semiconductor production -- Frank Wanlass: Complementary metal oxide semiconductor-CMOS POSTHUMOUS RECOGNITION -- Ross Freeman: Field programmable gate array-FPGA -- Jean Hoerni: Planar process -- Dawon Kahng: MOS transistor -- Gordon Teal: Silicon transistor -- Robert Widlar: Linear integrated circuits
"Virtually every electronic device in use today relies on advances in
integrated circuit technology," says
Many inductees are already in the Hall of Fame for related inventions.
The 2009 class will be inducted this year on
This year's inductees are an accomplished group:
Atalla was a Bell Labs inventor who worked with
Cho achieved molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) at Bell Labs, a process in which materials are layered atop one another with great precision to form devices like transistors, light-emitting diodes, and lasers. The switches in cell phones that carry our conversations are made using MBE, as are most of the lasers used in CD/DVD players and drives.
Freeman, co-founder of Xilinx, invented the field programmable gate array (FPGA), a computer chip that can be programmed again and again, changing the way that it functions. FPGAs are useful in rapidly changing industries, like local area networking and cell phone networks.
Dov Frohman-Bentchkowsky (1939- ) EPROM
Frohman-Bentchkowsky of Intel and founder of Intel Israel created the electrically programmable read-only memory chip, or EPROM, which could be erased by exposing it to ultraviolet light, then have new data written onto it. Today's electronic devices like cell phones, digital cameras, MP3 players, and computers all rely on a form of this memory to store their operating systems.
Heilmeier pioneered the first liquid crystal displays at RCA Laboratories. He went on from RCA to a diverse career, spending time as a White House Fellow, Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense, and Director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). He was also Chief Technical Officer for Texas Instruments.
A co-founder of Fairchild Semiconductor and one of the Fairchild Eight, Hoerni invented the planar manufacturing process, the process that is relied upon for the manufacture of today's modern integrated circuits. A consultant to semiconductor firms around the world, Hoerni founded Teledyne's Almeco division, Intersil, and Telmos.
Hornbeck, of Texas Instruments, holds a series of patents that form the foundation for the DMD, an array of up to two-million hinged microscopic aluminum mirrors on a silicon chip. Under digital control, the tiny mirrors create an image by directing pulses of "digital" light through a projection lens and onto a television, presentation, or movie theater screen.
Kahng was an inventor, with
Macdougall and Manchester worked together at Sprague Electronics to develop a commercially viable method of ion implantation, a process in which a silicon wafer is bombarded with ionized atoms to change the electrical conductivity of certain areas, called "doping." Ion implantation is the dominant doping method in the production of integrated circuits.
Carver Mead (1934- ) VLSI method for designing chips
Mead, professor emeritus at Caltech, is an inventor, chip designer, entrepreneur, and physicist. He helped to develop the standards and tools that permitted tens of thousands of transistors to be packaged on a single silicon chip, known as very large-scale integration (VLSI). He has founded over 20 companies, including Synaptics and Impinj.
As a cofounder of both Fairchild Semiconductor and Intel, Moore set the pace and standards for Silicon Valley's chip manufacturing methods. He is the author of Moore's Law, and his work would establish the model of the computer industry researcher-entrepreneur and help make Intel a world-leading chip maker. He is chairman emeritus of Intel and founder of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.
Wanlass invented the complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS), the technology employed in most modern microchips. Because of their low power requirements, CMOS chips are well suited to battery-powered devices: the digital watch was one of the first products to make use of CMOS technology. Wanlass spent time at Fairchild Semiconductor, and was also involved in several start-up ventures including Zytrex and Standard Microsystems.
Widlar designed the first commercially successful analog integrated circuit. These circuits are used to process and amplify signals like sound and radio waves, and they are used in the automotive industry and in communications and consumer electronics devices. Widlar saw success at National Semiconductor and was also a cofounder of Linear Technology Corporation.
Inventors may be nominated by anyone for induction into the Hall of Fame, but they must hold a U.S. patent to be considered. The nominee's invention must have contributed to the welfare of society and have promoted the progress of science and the useful arts. All nominations are reviewed by the Selection Committee, comprised of representatives from national science and technology organizations, and a panel of industry experts.
The not-for-profit National Inventors Hall of Fame is the premier
organization in America dedicated to honoring and fostering creativity and
invention. Each year a new class of inventors is inducted into the Hall of
Fame in recognition of their patented inventions that make human, social, and
economic progress possible. Founded in 1973 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark
Office and the National Council of Intellectual Property Law Association, the
Hall's headquarters are in
Note: For more information, visit the National Inventors Hall of Fame web
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SOURCE National Inventors Hall of Fame