A leader in driving technology innovations from concept to commercial success, David Welch’s contributions to optical devices for telecommunications networks have enabled the growth of the Internet and cloud-based services, providing faster communications for service providers, businesses, and consumers around the world. As chief technology officer and vice president of corporate development for Spectra Diode Labs, Welch played a critical role in launching the first commercially available 980-nanometer semiconductor pump laser for optical amplifiers. His design became the standard for pump lasers and enabled the proliferation of dense-wave-division-multiplexed systems for long-haul communications networks that allowed service providers to increase network capacity to meet the demanding bandwidth requirements of emerging Internet applications. In addition, Welch led the design, development, and commercialization of high-power semiconductor lasers and solid-state lasers for a diversity of materials processing applications. Welch has proven that his vision of photonic integration improves performance and reliability while reducing cost in telecommunication systems. He co-founded Infinera in 2001 and led the company in the architecture and development of the most widely deployed photonic integrated circuit (PIC) in industry. PICs are highly functional optical subsystems on a chip that overcome the data communications bottleneck between users and servers in the cloud. Welch then led Infinera’s next-generation technology, which now serves as the foundation for the DTN-X optical transport networking platform. Where the entire transmission capacity of the Internet in 2005 was less than 9 terabits (Tb), DTN-X allows 9 Tb per second of long-haul capacity on a single optical fiber. As president of Infinera, since 2013 Welch introduced several new systems that make it easier for network operators to automate the digital switching and optical transport layers of the multi-Tb transport systems, including the industry’s first super-channel reconfigurable optical add drop multiplexer and the first 500G flexible-grid super-channels.
An IEEE Fellow and recipient of the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s J.J. Thomson Medal for Electronics (2013), the OSA John Tyndall Award (2011), and elected to the NAE (2016), Welch is president of Infinera Corporation, Sunnyvale, CA, USA.
Shang-yi Chiang’s insight and expertise have transformed Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) from a technology follower to a driving force with one of the most advanced research and development (R&D) teams, helping it become the world’s largest dedicated independent semiconductor foundry. Known for taking well-calculated risks and making bold decisions, Dr. Chiang created an environment at TSMC for developing innovations that have made digital technology commonplace in society, profoundly impacting productivity, education, entertainment, and healthcare. Under Dr. Chiang’s direction, TSMC’s R&D organization grew from 148 people to 5,500 and has set milestones in semiconductor technology scaling at nodes from 0.25 microns all the way down to 28 nanometers. Game-changing initiatives implemented under Dr. Chiang’s leadership include a dedicated full/half node R&D roadmap, allowing customers to further reduce wafer cost. He also developed a strong lithography and electron-beam mask technology team that has advanced lithography, patterning, resist, and mask technologies for industry-leading high-density application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC)/system-on-chip (SoC) technologies for foundry customers and the logic semiconductor industry. Also important to ASIC/SoC applications has been TSMC’s high-density and energy-efficient interconnect efforts, where Dr. Chiang led his team to the industry’s first high-volume development of copper low-dielectric constant interconnects at 0.13 µm and subsequent nodes. Dr. Chiang also initiated a major direction change in three-dimensional (3D) IC technology to focus on “chip on wafer on substrate” (CoWoS) as a stepping stone to full-scale 3D-IC. This established TSMC as the leader in 3D-IC technology with industry-first high-volume production of CoWoS. This paved the way for system-level scaling for many emerging applications and has driven semiconductor industry growth.
An IEEE Life Fellow and recipient of Business Week magazine’s Star of Asia award (2001), Dr. Chiang is currently advisor to the chairman at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Los Gatos, CA, USA.
The mobile innovations of Paul E. Jacobs have been integral to the success of the communications industry and have transformed how we use and share information. A leader in the field for over two decades, Dr. Jacobs recognized early on that the true power of the mobile phone was its potential for data and not just voice. As architect of Qualcomm’s vision, Dr. Jacobs introduced innovations that simplified mobility. He saw the importance of bringing together standard computing, directional/sensor capabilities, and office productivity in a single mobile device. He also recognized consumer interest in having mobile access to entertainment and gaming content on the small screen. Among the groundbreaking work developed under his direction, Dr. Jacobs introduced GPS capabilities, technology for over-the-air downloading of applications, and push-to-talk functionality to mobile phones. The reflective display technology developed under Dr. Jacobs improves screen visibility in sunlight and helps maximize battery life. He also introduced solutions to handle spectrum-sharing problems. Small cells are starting to bring the network closer to users, adding capacity where it is needed most. Video downloading is smoother, thanks to technologies that improve the way video is transmitted. And carrier aggregation systems are making 3G and 4G LTE connections faster. Dr. Jacobs has also been a proponent of mobile health initiatives. He sees them as being crucial to lowering healthcare costs and outcomes, and empowering patients. In 2005 when Dr. Jacobs became CEO, there were only a handful of smartphones, and about 309 million 3G connections. Today nearly one billion smartphones are sold each year, and there are about 2.4 billion 3G and 4G connections.
An IEEE Member and recipient of the Edison Achievement Award (2013) and GSMA Chairman’s award (2014), Dr. Jacobs is executive chairman with Qualcomm. Inc., San Diego, CA, USA.
A trailblazing high-tech entrepreneur, Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande has made a lasting mark on the global telecommunications industry through exemplary leadership, creativity, and vision. Dr. Deshpande’s ingenuity has provided the innovations that have built our communications infrastructure. He founded three of the most successful networking equipment start-ups in history, with a knack for spotting unserved customer needs considerably ahead of his industry peers to positively change the industry landscape. Dr. Deshpande’s Cascade Communications (founded in 1990) developed packet-switching technology critical to handling growing Internet traffic. His Sycamore Networks (founded in 1998) pioneered intelligent optical networking methods that met the Internet’s need for increased bandwidth. Dr. Deshpande also founded Tejas Networks in 2000, which was India’s first telecommunications company devoted to building networks. Dr. Deshpande co-founded the Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), MA, USA, in 2002. Through the Center, Dr. Deshpande has provided funding and has shared his expertise in entrepreneurship and innovation to help MIT researchers bring leading-edge technologies to market. Grants have been provided to over 90 research projects, 27 of which have evolved into independent start-ups providing ground-breaking technologies. As a mentor, Dr. Deshpande has inspired countless engineers to take their ideas to the next level.
Dr. Deshpande is a life member of the MIT Corporation, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Board of Trustees. He was appointed to co-chair President Obama’s National Council for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in 2010. Dr. Deshpande is chairman of Tejas Networks, Bangalore, India.
Tetsuya Iizuka’s vision and guidance have driven the development of high-speed video processing chips required for today’s demanding flat-panel display applications. Dr. Iizuka founded THine Microsystems in 1991 to concentrate on advancing the video-signal interface technology needed for computers and television displays. Overcoming the many challenges of establishing a start-up venture in Japan, his company has developed breakthrough solutions for low-cost and compact video-signal handling that have become the standards for high-definition moving images. The technology pioneered by Dr. Iizuka has fueled the success of digital video devices including laptops, tablets, and 3D televisions. Under Dr. Iizuka’s guidance, THine advanced existing low-voltage differential signaling (LVDS) technology to introduce 10-bit LVDS in 2003. The 10-bit LVDS chip as a television’s internal interface supports 1 billion colors compared to 8-bit LVDS’ 16 million colors and was widely accepted as the new value for image quality in television displays. THine also developed the V-by-One HS chip. Considered the next-generation interface for flat-panel displays, this technology can realize 3D television through eight pairs of internal video interface cables compared to the 48 pairs required with LVDS. Dr. Iizuka founded the Japanese Semiconductor Venture Association to improve opportunities for entrepreneurs in Japan and Asia through collaboration with the Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA). He has played a key role at the GSA as a member of its Asia-Pacific Leadership Council. Dr. Iizuka was also instrumental in Japan’s adoption of a new income tax incentive for early stage investments in 2008.
An IEEE Senior Member, Dr. Iizuka is currently chief executive officer of THine Electronics, Inc., Tokyo, Japan.
For over 25 years, Tze-Chiang Chen has driven major innovations in silicon microelectronics technology with contributions spanning across research, development, and product manufacturing. His technical and managerial leadership in understanding and developing advanced bipolar, complimentary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS), and dynamic random access memory (DRAM) technology has played a critical role in placing IBM as one of the leaders of CMOS technology. Technology developed under Dr. Chen’s guidance has impacted mainframe computing systems used worldwide for scientific, banking, and other business applications and has advanced the global semiconductor industry as a whole. During the 1980s, Dr. Chen conducted pioneering work on the polysilicon emitter/single-crystal silicon interface that led to the world’s first double-poly bipolar technology. The successful commercialization of this technology formed the basis of semiconductor devices that were deployed in the IBM S/390 mainframe computers. Beginning in 1999, Dr. Chen helped lead an IBM team that demonstrated the first commercial microprocessor using silicon-on-insulator technology for high-performance logic. He also personally led IBM’s high-k/metal-gate CMOS development, which was one of the biggest changes to silicon microelectronics technology in decades.
Dr. Chen is a strong advocate of international collaboration in technology development. During the 1990s, he led a multinational alliance for advancing trench-capacitor DRAM technology, and his technical contributions led to the announcement of the world’s fastest and smallest 256-Mb DRAM in 1995. His successful multinational development programs became the models for subsequent IBM joint-development projects with semiconductor companies worldwide.
An IEEE Fellow, Dr. Chen is currently an IBM Fellow and vice president of science and technology with IBM Research, Yorktown Heights, N.Y.
For more than 25 years, Narayana N. R. Murthy has helped reshape the global information and technology software and services industries through innovative business practices that have been adopted by many of the world’s top corporations.
In 1981, he founded Infosys with six friends and served as its chief executive for 20 years before retiring in March 2002. Mr. Murthy is credited with building Infosys into a multi-billion-dollar organization that helped facilitate the rapid growth of India’s IT industry. There, he initiated the Global Delivery Model (GDM), which helps to deliver rapid-time-to-market solutions and optimizes cost efficiencies. Infosys was the first Indian company to offer stock options to all its employees and the first to list on NASDAQ. He remains non-executive chairman and chief mentor for the company.
An independent director on the boards of some of the largest global institutions and an IT adviser to several Asian countries, Mr. Murthy actively promotes business and education issues and serves on several boards dedicated to fostering these topics. He also sits on the advisory board of several well-known universities. He has received numerous awards and honors and has been highly ranked by virtually every top global business publication, including being named as one of Time Magazine’s “Global Tech Influentials” in 2004 and one of its “Asian Heroes Who Have Brought About Revolutionary Changes” in 2006.
He has also been conferred honorary doctorates by well-known universities around the world. Mr. Murthy received a bachelor’s in electrical engineering from the University of Mysore, India and a master’s in technology from the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur.