2019 - Tomonori Aoyama and Takashi Hayasaka

Tomonori Aoyama and Takashi Hayasaka

The trailblazing work of Tomonori Aoyama and Takashi Hayasaka accelerated the replacement of 100-year-old analog film technologies used in cinema and television by providing extremely high visual quality using digital-imaging solutions. Their efforts to develop, demonstrate, and commercialize 4K digital motion picture technology helped achieve high-quality digital cinema decades earlier than many thought possible. Aoyama's research in super-high-definition imaging and underlying parallel digital signal processor technologies led to the first 4K digital motion picture prototype system. He also founded the Digital Cinema Consortium of Japan (DCCJ) to promote the development of essential components for implementing 4K digital cinema. DCCJ demonstrated the 4K SHD moving image in Hollywood as well as London, Paris, Rome, and Tokyo to prove the quality of 4K image. Hayasaka played a key role in establishing a cross-functional team at Sony to develop commercial 4K projectors based on Sony’s SXRD technology. He demonstrated the first prototype SXRD projector that satisfied industry’s requirements for 4K digital cinema, providing Hollywood studios with confidence that 4K was a viable format backed by a major manufacturer. The duo’s efforts ensured that when modern digital cinema was standardized, it fully supported the 4K format.

An IEEE Life Fellow, Aoyama is a Professor Emeritus with the University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.

Hayasaka is the Corporate Officer, JEMCO Business Consulting, Tokyo, Japan.

2018 - Linus Torvalds

Linus Torvalds

Linus Torvalds is a Finnish-American software engineer and architect of the Linux operating system. Torvalds started writing Linux, an open UNIX-like kernel, while working on his master’s degree while at the University of Helsinki. His freely shared work ignited a technical revolution that enabled anyone to have a web presence at very low cost and has made Linux the leading operating system for servers, supercomputers, netbooks, Internet networking equipment, embedded systems, and numerous personal devices. His collaborative development process in the Linux kernel is the key success of open source software. Linux is in billions of smartphones, powers most tablets, and underlies computer-enabled eyewear, thermostats, and kitchen appliances. Torvalds is also the original author of the “git” source control management system. To this day, he remains the technical lead developer of the Linux kernel project.

Torvalds is a fellow at Linux Foundation, Portland, OR, USA.

2017 - John O'Sullivan, David Skellern, and Terence Percival

John O'Sullivan, David J. Skellern, Terence Percival

The efforts of John O’Sullivan, David Skellern, and Terence Percival in developing and commercializing high-speed Wi-Fi provided the milestone technology for practically all in-home and local area mobile Internet communications. O’Sullivan initiated and led the early efforts in techniques for very high-speed wireless networks at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO). Percival took over and led the CSIRO project that modeled and prototyped the high-speed modulation schemes and hardware needed for successful Wi-Fi communications. Working in conjunction with CSIRO, Skellern led a pioneering project on wireless local area networks at Macquarie University and in 1997 co-founded, with Percival and Neil Weste, Radiata Communications to commercialize the CSIRO-Macquarie research. O’Sullivan joined Radiata in 1999. In 2000 Radiata demonstrated the first working Wi-Fi system based on the IEEE 802.11a 5-GHz standard.

An IEEE Senior member, O’Sullivan is a physicist and electrical engineer (retired). An IEEE Life Fellow, Skellern is chairman of CMCRC Ltd, Sydney, Australia. Percival is an electrical engineer and director of TMPP Pty Ltd, Northbridge, Australia.

2016 - Steven J. Sasson

Steven J. Sasson

Steven J. Sasson’s development of the first digital still camera and contributions to groundbreaking digital technologies have revolutionized photography, making it easier and less expensive to capture and share photos. His patented work at Kodak during the 1970s involved using a fast charge-coupled device to capture images to a digital buffer memory and transfer them to a nonvolatile digital storage medium. Sasson saw the potential of emerging memory chips and analog-to-digital converters and decided to store four digital bits per pixel on a cassette tape instead of using traditional analog video circuits. During the 1980s, he also developed the first megapixel digital camera incorporating discrete cosine transform compression for storing images on memory cards.

A recipient of the 2009 US National Medal of Technology and Innovation, Sasson is currently president of Steven J. Sasson Consulting, LLC, Hilton, NY, USA.

2015 - Martin Cooper

Martin Cooper

The “father of the cellular phone,” Martin Cooper is responsible for a technology that arguably has had the greatest impact on global society over the past 50 years. Mr. Cooper conceived, and led the effort to develop, a personal, portable radio handset that could be utilized as a normal telephone by anyone, anytime, anywhere. The result was the introduction of the first truly mobile telephone in 1973. Mr. Cooper also formulated the Law of Spectral Efficiency (Cooper's Law), which states that the maximum number of voice conversations or equivalent data transactions that can be conducted in all of the useful radio spectrum doubles every 30 months. This observation allows a prediction that technology can continue indefinitely to anticipate and fulfill the continued growth of the interconnected world.

An IEEE Life Fellow, Mr. Cooper is chairman of Dyna LLC, Del Mar, CA, USA.

2013: Martin Dietz, Kristofer Kjrling, and Lars Liljeryd

Martin Dietz, Kristofer Kjörling, and Lars Liljeryd

Leaders of key audio coding technology Martin Dietz, Kristofer Kjörling, and Lars Liljeryd helped set the standard for high-quality audio compression employed in today’s mobile and digital media devices. Dietz, Kjörling, and Liljeryd developed the concept of spectral band replication for more efficient and natural-sounding perceptual audio coding. Mr. Liljeryd provided the vision of using bandwidth replication to improve existing coding methods; Mr. Kjörling led the research that turned the vision into working prototypes; and Mr. Dietz provided the knowledge and industry connections to bring the technology to market. The trio’s groundbreaking work evolved into the High-Efficiency Advanced Audio Coding method, standardized in 2004, which is a key component of today’s cell phones, mobile media devices, digital radios, televisions, and personal computers. Its efficiency has enabled lower-bitrate audio streaming for wireless applications, reducing storage needs and lowering transmission and streaming costs.

Mr. Dietz is chief executive officer with Innosupport AG, Nuremberg, Germany.

Mr. Kjörling is a principal member of the technical staff with Dolby Laboratories, Stockholm, Sweden.

Mr. Liljeryd is an IEEE member and a principal member of the technical staff and senior research advisor with Dolby Laboratories, Stockholm, Sweden.

2012: Gisle Bjntegaard, Gary J. Sullivan, and Thomas Wiegand

Gisle Bjøntegaard, Gary J. Sullivan, and Thomas Wiegand

Gisle Bjøntegaard, Gary J. Sullivan, and Thomas Wiegand were leading figures in the creation of the ground-breaking H.264/MPEG4-AVC coding standard for the compression, transmission, recording, and storage of digital video. H.264/MPEG4-AVC has impacted technology ranging from smart phones to Blu-Ray disc players and broadcast television. Released in May 2003, the new standard was a major improvement over the previous H.262/MPEG-2 video coding standard, with not only better compression capability but also the flexibility to support a wide range of platforms and applications, including handheld mobile devices, Blu-Ray players, internet video streaming, and HDTV. Dr. Bjøntegaard originated the proposal that became the first reference model for the design of the standard, and he continued to participate in driving further improvements in compression by numerous contributions during the standardization process. As chair of the Joint Video Team, Dr. Sullivan wrote a significant portion of the standard and managed the process from Dr. Bjøntegaard’s first proposal to the final version. He led the team through enhancements addressing additional uses for professional applications and scalable and three-dimensional video coding and also made numerous technical contributions including high-level syntax, network abstraction, timing indications, and hypothetical reference decoding. Dr. Wiegand, who served as an associate chair of the committee, was responsible for editing the evolving standard, and also made many technical contributions. His proposals became the basis of the scalable and three-dimensional video extensions as well as the High Profile, which is currently the most widely used profile of the standard, addressing HDTV and Blu-Ray applications.

Dr. Bjøntegaard is currently a Cisco Fellow with Cisco Systems Norway, Oslo.

An IEEE and SPIE Fellow, Dr. Sullivan is currently a video and image technology architect with Microsoft Corporation, Redmond, WA.

Dr. Wiegand is an IEEE Fellow and currently a professor and chair of the Image Communication Laboratory at the Berlin Institute of Technology, Germany and joint head of the Image Processing Department at the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications, Heinrich Hertz Institute, Berlin.

2011: Joan L. Mitchell

Photo of 2011 Masaru Ibuka Consumer Electronics Award recipient Mitchell

When you surf the internet, use a digital camera, or print a color image, you have benefited from Joan L. Mitchell’s contributions to compression methods for faster printing and transmission of image files. Dr. Mitchell was one of the key contributors to the JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) algorithm for photographic image compression as well as some of the MPEG (Motion Picture Expert Group) standards for video. Working at IBM with William B. Pennebaker, Dr. Mitchell helped fine tune the JPEG standard into something that was also practical for software. She served as co-editor of the standard and helped define many of the extensions that made it a flexible tool for image compression. Dr. Mitchell was also instrumental in solving throughput bottlenecks affecting IBM high-end printers, enabling for the first time full-color page decoding for JPEG at rated speeds.

An IEEE Fellow, Dr. Mitchell retired from InfoPrint Solutions Company, Boulder, CO, in 2009, where she was an InfoPrint Fellow.

2010: James Barton

The creator of the modern digital video recorder (DVR) and co-founder of TiVo, Inc., James Barton’s contribution to the field of consumer electronics has created “life changing” products for people throughout the world. DVR has provided a whole new television viewing experience to consumers who can now automatically record their favorite television programming for later viewing at their convenience, record a full season, and pause and replay live shows. As a connected device, Mr. Barton’s software-driven technology enables a living product whose functionality evolves over time and has set the standard for ease of use and reliability. He developed the first “DVR ads,” which enable customers to interactively click through a regular television ad for more information, and integrated audience measurement capabilities, allowing advertisers to receive direct feedback on advertising effectiveness and understand consumer viewing behaviors.

An IEEE member, Mr. Barton is currently the senior vice president and chief technology officer at TiVo, Inc., Alviso, CA.

2009: Eugene J. Polley

Eugene J. Polley’s work in wireless remote technology led to possibly the greatest convenience feature ever invented—the wireless remote control for television. Mr. Polley ushered in the era of “channel surfing” with the invention of the “Flash-Matic” wireless remote in 1955, introduced by Zenith Radio Corporation (now Zenith Electronics LLC, a subsidiary of LG Electronics). The device operated via photo cells placed in each corner of the television screen, and the viewer used a highly directional flashlight to turn the picture and sound on or off, or to change the channel in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction. His concepts were the foundation of wireless remote technologies that followed. Today, virtually all consumer electronics products—from plasma screens to HDTVs, from DVD players to digital recorders—feature remote-control capability.

Eugene Polley and fellow remote-control pioneer Robert Adler were recognized for their contributions by the National Academy of Television Arts with an Emmy Award in 1997. Currently a retired engineer, Polley holds 18 patents.

2008: Ralph H. Baer

Ralph Henry Baer, founder and chief engineer of R.H. Baer Consultants, is widely known as the “Father of the Home Video Game.” Mr. Baer’s greatest successes have been in the areas of interactive video entertainment, education, and training for both consumer and military applications, and in the creation of novel electronic toys and games. He helped pioneer the popularity of single-chip, microprocessor-controlled games such as Milton-Bradley’s SIMON—still on the market today 30 years after its first appearance. His long-term work within the electronic toy and game industry has resulted in hundreds of novel products and paved the way for a mega-industry of over $11 billion annually. In 1996, he was awarded with the National Medal of Technology by the President of the United States for his accomplishments. An IEEE Life Senior member, Mr. Baer holds 150 US and foreign patents.

2007: Tomlinson Holman

Tomlinson Holman is an innovator, inventor, and teacher in the field of audio design engineering, best known for his work in developing the THX Sound System, Home THX, and the THX Digital Mastering program, patented audio design systems that introduced realistic sound playback.

THX is a baseline set of standards designed to dramatically improve an audience’s cinema experience by eliminating background noise, enhancing image quality and projection, improving room acoustics and utilizing THX-approved equipment for optimal sound reproduction. He was also a leading contributor in developing the 5.1 surround sound system, an entertainment audio standard. He is currently working on its next generation: the 10.2 surround sound.

Mr. Holman has been a member of IEEE for the past 32 years and is an accomplished author and recognized expert. In addition, he has received six US and many corresponding foreign patents. Of the numerous awards he’s been given, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognized his work on THX by awarding him one of the two Technical Achievement Awards granted in 2001.

2006: Wayne Bretl, Richard Citta, and Wayne Luplow

     Wayne E. Bretl, Richard Citta and Wayne C. Luplow were key members of the team that developed the digital television transmission system adopted by the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to replace the nation’s 65-year-old analog system.

Currently used by virtually every television station in the United States and South Korea, this groundbreaking digital technology provides both robust transmission and reduced interference. It is the technological heart of the millions of HDTV units now in use. As the transition from analog TV to digital TV nears completion in 2007, all sets made in the US are expected to feature the new demodulation technology that takes a digital broadcast signal and turns it into the bitstream ultimately seen as a broadcast. The technology, which also allows utilization of previously unusable VHF and UHF TV broadcast channels, is expected to free up analog bandwidth for use in US homeland security, public safety, and other initiatives. In addition, the technology will allow new channels assigned to existing broadcasters to migrate to digital television.

Bretl, Citta, and Luplow also were the technical advocates who shepherded the technology through the FCC’s grueling scrutiny and testing procedures as well as the regulatory process to incorporate the VSB-based digital TV standard into FCC requirements. Working together at Zenith Electronics Corporation in Lincolnshire, Illinois, the three electrical engineers and their colleagues developed the VSB characteristics to make high-definition television feasible in the harsh environment of terrestrial broadcast reception.

Their VSB modulation system employs unique technology to prevent interference into existing NTSC/analog broadcast signals. It also uses special methods to prevent interference from analog signals at 12dB and higher into the VSB signal. Bretl, Citta, and Luplow also created a unique pilot signal to aid reception under adverse receiving conditions such as white or impulse noise and multipath impairments. The team repeatedly broke new ground, achieving 75 mile, low-power HDTV broadcast reception in one urban test and receiving digital HDTV signals with a simple bow-tie antenna in another. The lower peak power requirements of VSB operation allow stations on co-channels and adjacent channels to be located closer together without generating crippling amounts of interference.

More recently, they have worked to improve the adaptive equalization technology in DTV receivers and to develop enhancements to DTV standards to ensure against obsolescence.

An IEEE Senior member, Wayne Bretl is research and development manager at Zenith Electronics Corporation in Lincolnshire, IL. He is a member of the IEEE Consumer Electronics Society’s administrative committee, the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, the Audio Engineering Society, and the Society for Information Display. He has a B.A. in Electrical Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago.

An IEEE member, Richard Citta is chief scientist at Micronas Semiconductor Inc. in Palatine, IL. Formerly Fellow of Electronics Systems Research and Development Laboratory at Zenith, he is the only two-time recipient of Zenith’s highest technical honor, the Robert Adler Technical Excellence Award. Citta is also a member of the Academy of Digital Television Pioneers. He has a B.A. from the Illinois Institute of Technology and an M.A. from the University of Washington in Seattle, both in Electrical Engineering.

An IEEE Fellow, Wayne Luplow is a vice president at Zenith Electronics Corporation. He is the editor of the IEEE Transactions on Consumer Electronics and is a member of the IEEE Consumer Electronics Society’s administrative committee. Luplow is a member of the Boards of Directors of both the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) and its sister organization, the ATSC Forum. He holds a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin in Madison and an M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, both in Electrical Engineering. 

2005: Not Awarded

Not Awarded

2004: Karlheinz Brandenburg

Dr. Karlheinz Brandenburg has been a driving force behind some of today's most innovative digital audio technology, notably the MP3 and MPEG audio standards. He is acclaimed for seminal work on digital audio coding and perceptual measurement techniques, Wave Field Synthesis (WFS), and psycho-acoustics. An IEEE Senior member, Dr. Brandenburg belongs to the IEEE Signal Processing Society's technical committee on Audio and Electro-acoustics and is a Fellow of the Audio Engineering Society (AES). Honors include the IEEE Region 10 Engineering Excellence Award, the AES Silver Medal, and the German Future Award, which he shared with colleagues. The author of numerous articles and co-editor of Applications of Digital Signal Processing to Audio and Acoustics, Dr. Brandenburg holds 25 patents, with several more pending. He is currently professor and head of the Institute for Media Technology, Ilmenau Technical University, and director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT, both in Ilmenau, Germany. 

2003: Richard Small and Neville Thiele

For more than 40 years, Neville Thiele's and Richard Small's Thiele-Small (TS) parameters have been the de facto criteria for assessing the performance of loudspeakers. Their unified approach analyzes the electromechanical behavior of a speaker's components and the interaction with each other and with the air inside and outside the speaker cabinet. The resulting equation is mathematically identical to that describing a circuit. Then, sound produced by the speaker can be calculated by a simple circuit analysis. By using the TS parameters in computer models, users could design the loudspeaker/cabinet interface without having to manually build a speaker cabinet.

Richard Small's experience in electronic circuit design for high performance analytical instruments at the Bell & Howell Research Center in Calif. laid the foundation for his loudspeaker analysis and measurement work at The University of Sydney. Later, he was head of Research at KEF Electronics Ltd. in Maidstone, England. A Senior member of the IEEE, Dr. Small is a member of the Institution of Engineers Australia. He is a Fellow of the Audio Engineering Society and has received the Society's Publication Award, Silver Medal and Gold Medal. He is a senior principal engineer for Harman/Becker Automotive Systems in Martinsville, IN.

Neville Thiele worked at EMI Australia Ltd. for 10 years designing consumer audio radio and video equipment, and with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation for 23 years, designing and assessing equipment and systems for sound and television broadcasting. His honors include the Institution of Radio and Electronics Engineers Australia's Norman W.V. Hayes Medals for best papers and its Award of Honour, as well as the Silver Medal of the Audio Engineering Society (AES). He is a member of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers and a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers Australia and the AES. Mr. Thiele is an active member of the ITU-R's Australian National Study Group and Standards Australia's committee on digital audio and video.

2002: Takashi Fujio, Kozo Hayashi, Masao Sugimoto, Masahiko Morizono, and Yuichi Ninomiya

Takashi Fujio
At the Technical Research Laboratory of NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation), Dr. Takashi Fujio’s innovative research into the psychological effects of various aspects of television helped lay the foundations of high definition television (HDTV). From that work, he developed screen ruling, viewing distance and other key parameters of HDTV’s early development that continue to play a major role today. Dr. Fujio holds nearly 70 patents relevant to HDTV and its transmission systems.

He has received many awards, including the ITE Niwa-Takayanagie Achievement Award, the Science and Technology Merits Award from the Japanese government, and the SMPTE David Sarnoff Gold Medal. He is a lecturer at Himeji Institute of Technology, Hyogo-Ken, Japan

Kozo Hayashi
At NHK Mr. Kozo Hayashi helped to encourage research with the establishment of several key standards, including setting HDTV screen ruling at 1125 lines–the basic HDTV standard today. After retiring from NHK, he joined Sharp Corporation, Japan, to improve the performance of consumer HDTV receivers.

He is a Fellow of the IEEE and an Honorary Member of the Institute of Television Engineers in Japan. His honors include the Minister’s Award from Japan’s Ministry of Posts and Telecommunication and the Takayanagi Memorial Award. Mr. Hayashi is a retired senior executive director of Sharp Corporation.

Masao Sugimoto
At NHK, Dr. Masao Sugimoto pioneered the development of a single-channel HDTV transmission system via broadcast satellite, and a portable HDTV color camera. His efforts also included standardizing HDTV in Japan and worldwide. A Fellow of the IEEE, he was President of the Institute of Television Engineers of Japan. He has received many honors for his technical achievements and is an active member of the IEEE Tokyo Section.

Dr. Sugimoto is an executive corporate engineering advisor at Pioneer Corporation, Tokyo, Japan

Masahiko Morizono
A leader within Sony since 1953, Mr. Masahiko Morizono has pioneered development, manufacturing and practical use of broadcasting equipment. Semiconductor-based miniature timebase correctors and wide-bandwith recorders developed under his leadership are used today in HDTV. He is an Honorary Member of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers and chair of the Motion Picture and Television Engineering Society of Japan.

His honors include an Emmy Award for Lifetime Achievement in broadcast technology, the Japanese Government’s Medal with Blue Ribbon, and the Montreux International Television Symposium’s Gold Medal for Achievement. Mr. Morizono is Chief Advisor for Sony’s Corporate Technology Department.

Yuichi Ninomiya
At NHK, Dr. Yuichi Ninomiya pioneered the multiple Sub-Nyquist Sampling Encoding (MUSE) system, a band compression technology. It was used to transmit the world’s first HDTV broadcasts via satellite in Japan. Dr. Ninomiya was a member of the IEEE, the Institute of Television Engineering (ITE) of Japan, and the Institute of Electronics and Communication Engineers (IECE), Japan.

He held 176 patents and published about 35 papers. Dr. Ninomiya passed away in July 2000.