2018 - Alan Willson

Alan Willson

Alan Willson’s seminal achievements over 50 years (many in collaboration with his Ph.D. students) have substantially enhanced theory and design in the fields of nonlinear circuits and digital signal processing (DSP). His nonlinear circuits research has produced fundamental theorems for transistor circuits that have lasting impact. He has also developed highly effective design techniques for finite impulse response digital filters. Willson’s work on direct digital synthesizer technology, resulting in many patents through his company Pentomics, Inc., has had significant industrial application. In the early 1970s Willson also created UCLA’s first DSP courses and research projects.

An IEEE Life Fellow and National Academy of Engineering member, Willson is the Charles P. Reames Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA.

2017 - Marcel J.M. Pelgrom

Marcel J.M. Pelgrom

Known to circuit designers around the world for his formulation of the random variation (mismatch) behavior between two otherwise identical components, Marcel J.M. Pelgrom has dramatically impacted the efficiency of analog designers. An essential performance metric for technology optimization, the "Pelgrom model" has been accepted by the global device and design community as an elegant description for mismatch. Mismatch characterization is important because statistical variations between individual devices critically affect the performance of analog circuits. Due to device scaling and power supply reduction, the impact of local variability increases to a level where even the classical full-swing noise margins in digital memories are affected. Pelgrom’s model will remain instrumental in achieving area-, performance-, and cost-optimized solutions in many types of semiconductor devices, creating lasting economic benefits.

An IEEE member, Pelgrom is a consultant with Pelgrom Consult, Helmond, The Netherlands.

2016 - P.P. Vaidyanathan

P.P. Vaidyanathan

Considered to be one of the pioneering contributors to multirate signal processing research, P.P. Vaidyanathan has heavily influenced the research directions in filter banks and multirate systems. He is most well known for developing the general theory of filter banks with perfect reconstruction, as well as orthonormal filter banks, which have impacted digital communications, audio, and image coders. One of his earliest contributions was in the area of low-sensitivity digital filter structures. He showed how such structures can be designed directly in discrete time, without the need for transforming electrical circuits into the digital domain. An early proponent of applying signal processing methods to genomics, Vaidyanathan developed methods to computationally predict the location of protein coding genes and noncoding genes. His work on co-prime and nested arrays is expected to have major impact on applications such as direction finding and radar systems.

An IEEE Fellow, Vaidyanathan is a professor at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA.

2015 - Yosiro Oono

Yosiro Oono

Solving principal circuit-theoretical problems of the 1940s and 1950s posed by Wilhelm Cauer, Yosiro Oono established the so-called “classical network theory” named by Vitold Belevitch. Prof. Oono provided complete solutions to the problems of clarifying realizability conditions for linear passive n-ports and found their equivalent networks by developing mathematically rigorous theory. Since Prof. Oono's groundbreaking work is a general synthesis theory built on the principles only of linearity and passivity, it has widely influenced the development of sophisticated circuit designs for today's digital filters, active filters, and of signal processing. Concerning more general networks including active elements, Prof. Oono pointed out the existence of innovative singular elements known as a nullator and a norator, which are very useful for active network synthesis.

An IEEE Life Fellow, Dr. Oono is an Emeritus Professor of Kyushu University, Japan.

2014 - C.L. Liu

C.L. Liu

A circuits and systems design visionary, C.L. Liu reshaped the electronic design automation (EDA) field by providing the tools that make today’s complex integrated circuits possible. EDA tools provide a more efficient and reliable means of creating and testing chips. To overcome the limitations that ad-hoc EDA methods faced as circuit integration became more complex, Prof. Liu pioneered the use of formal, mathematically rigorous tools for design automation. Prof. Liu’s algorithm-based EDA tools paved the way to solving complex design problems with techniques such as dynamic programming, linear programming, and simulated annealing. Prof. Liu is also particularly known for his work in floorplanning algorithms for realistic circuit design as well as scheduling algorithms for real-time tasks.

An IEEE Fellow, Dr. Liu is a professor with the Computer Science Department at National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan.

2013 - Sanjit K. Mitra

Sanjit K. Mitra

Sanjit K. Mitra has provided continued improvements to state-of-the-art analog and digital filter design, with expertise that has evolved as the field has evolved. Dr. Mitra’s initial research activities were in the area of analog circuits during the 1960s, designing filters without inductors so that they could be implemented in integrated circuit form. These “inductorless” filters allow improvement in processing audio, video, and multimedia analog signals, and they improve digital resolution. As the field evolved toward digital signal processing, Dr. Mitra focused his research activities on important contributions such as the design of minimum multiplier digital filters. Dr. Mitra then transitioned his expertise to digital image and video processing, where he advanced several computationally efficient algorithms for enhancement, segmentation, and compression.

An IEEE Life Fellow, Dr. Mitra is the Stephen and Etta Varra Professor Emeritus Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, and a Research Professor of Electrical Engineering, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA, USA.

2012 - Ronald A. Rohrer

Photo of 2012 IEEE Gustav Robert Kirchhoff Award recipient, Ronald A Rohrer

Considered one of the preeminent researchers on design optimization during the 1960s, Ronald A. Rohrer’s contributions to improving integrated circuit (IC) production have spanned over 40 years. Dr. Rohrer realized early on that circuit simulation was crucial to IC design for progress in size reduction and complexity. Among his achievements was introducing a sequence of circuit simulation courses at the University of California, Berkeley that resulted in the CANCER (Computer Analysis of Nonlinear Circuits, Excluding Radiation) simulation program, enabling unprecedented efficiency and circuit size capability. CANCER evolved into the SPICE (Simulation Program with Integrated Circuit Emphasis) tool, now considered the industry standard for IC design simulation. During the 1980s, at Carnegie Mellon University, Dr. Rohrer introduced the Asymptotic Waveform Evaluation (AWE) algorithm, which enables highly efficient timing simulation of ICs containing large numbers of parasitic elements.

An IEEE Life Fellow, Dr. Rohrer is University Professor Emeritus of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA.

2011 - Charles DeSoer

Photo of 2011 Gustav Robert Kirchhoff Award recipient Desoer

Charles A. Desoer’s cutting-edge research and teaching has influenced generations of engineers and improved the use of electric circuits and systems. His work on the analytical foundations of circuit and system theory came at a time of explosive development in methods for the analysis and synthesis of complex circuits for the integrated-circuit industry. Dr. Desoer’s clear statement of what was analytically verifiable in control applications transformed an industry. With landmark textbooks—considered the most authoritative in the field of circuits, systems, and control—he presented methodologies now found in modern electronics and set systems theory within a firm and elegant conceptual framework. His work on linear and nonlinear circuits provided the growing integrated-circuit market with a needed foundation in nonlinear circuit analysis, simulation, and synthesis.

Dr. Desoer, who passed away on 1 November 2010, was an IEEE Life Fellow and an Emeritus Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley.

2010 - Hitoshi Watanabe

Hitoshi Watanabe

Hitoshi Watanabe’s vision and determination established circuit design methods that led to the era of computer-aided design, an indispensable tool for developing complex electronic circuits. Faced with the task of designing electrical wave filters for Japan’s telecommunications infrastructure after World War II, Dr. Watanabe found that existing filter design methods were not feasible for creating the wide range of filters needed for a modern system. He developed a new mathematical theory that allowed any filter design to be uniformly captured, but it required an enormous amount of numerical calculations. During the 1950s these were performed by motor-driven calculators, so he set out to design a computer to automate the task, and was devoted to build it. This computer was able to execute double-precision floating-point operations via built-in dual arithmetic units, which was highly innovative at the time.

An IEEE Life Fellow, Dr. Watanabe is currently a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Information Systems Science at Soka University, Tokyo, Japan.

2009 - Ernest S. Kuh

photo of Ernest Kuh

With a career spanning over 50 years as a professor and scientist, Ernest S. Kuh’s pioneering contributions have shaped both circuit theory and electronic design automation (EDA) of large-scale integrated circuits and systems. EDA has streamlined the design and production of circuits by automating not only the design but also the placement of electronic components and the routing of wires and connections between the components.

After important early contributions to circuit theory and analysis, Dr. Kuh switched his focus in the 1980s to what would become EDA, making long-lasting contributions in all aspects of design automation, with many methods adopted by the industry. He also developed simulators to handle large circuits with good accuracy and improved speed over existing programs. He has mentored about 40 Ph.D. students, who have made significant contributions in propelling EDA into the vital role that it plays in the electronics industry today.

A Life Fellow of the IEEE, Dr. Kuh is currently the William S. Floyd Jr. Professor Emeritus in Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. 

2008 - Alfred Fettweis


Alfred Fettweis, professor emeritus at Ruhr-Universitaet in Bochum, Germany, has made seminal contributions to the circuits, systems, and signal processing fields. His research has included work on wave digital filters that led to an increase in the functionality of microchips and has enabled the production of smaller-scale electronic components without sacrificing their capabilities. Companies such as Siemens have implemented his methods, including one of the first high volume Very-Large-Scale Integration (VLSI) chips for communications applications, through his wave digital filter (WDF) method, driving an increase in functionality and helping to spur innovation in a variety of fields. An IEEE Life Fellow, he holds some 30 patents and has authored and co-authored about 200 papers and two books. Dr. Fettweis has received numerous awards, including the Belevitch Award, the Van Valkenburg Award, the Technical Achievement Award, and the Darlington Award given by the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society. 

2007 - Yannis Tsividis

photo of Yannis Tsividis

Yannis P. Tsividis, the Charles Batchelor Memorial Professor of Electrical Engineering at Columbia University in New York, has made major contributions to the field of solid-state circuits.

His contributions began in 1976, when he designed and built a fully integrated MOS operational amplifier and demonstrated its use in a coder-decoder for digital telephony. These results were widely adopted by the industry in the first massively produced mixed-signal MOS integrated circuits, which incorporate both analog and digital functions on the same silicon chip. His subsequent work has been widely used in wireless communications equipment, consumer electronics, computer disk drives, and biomedical devices. His book, Operation and Modeling of the MOS Transistor, is a standard reference for modeling engineers and circuit designers alike.

An IEEE Fellow, he has previously received the IEEE W.R.G. Baker Prize Paper and the IEEE Undergraduate Teaching Award.

2006 - Gabor Temes

photo of Gabor Temes

For more than three decades, Dr. Gabor C. Temes’ research into analog signal processing has had a profound and broad impact on the quality of sound and data communications.

His research in analog and digital signal processing and mixed-signal integrated electronics has been prolific, progressing from classical network theory to active filter synthesis to monolithic filter and data converter design.  Without his work on analog-to-digital converters, DSL or cable-modem Internet connections would be much slower than they now are, and the data density of hard disk drives would also be lower than that in today’s systems.

As professor of engineering at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Dr. Temes has been a leading authority on delta sigma data converters. His research on filter design, optimization methods and low-sensitivity filter structures helped significantly the explosive growth of analog signal processing in MOS integrated circuit technologies during the last 30 years. His work in switched capacitor filters helped define communications chips in the 1980s by conceiving fundamental design methods for them.

As an educator, Dr. Temes has been responsible for several seminal texts on analog signal processing and has co-authored several widely used reference books, including Introduction to Circuit Synthesis and Design, Modern Filter Theory and Design, Oversampling Delta Converters, and Delta-Sigma Data Converters. He has published about 300 papers and conference proceedings, including a paper on switched capacitor circuit design considered to be the most complete summary of switched-capacitor filter design methods. He holds 14 patents and also has organized hundreds of global short courses on signal processing topics.

An IEEE Life Fellow, he is a recipient of the IEEE Centennial Medal, the Andrew Chi Prize of the IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society, the IEEE Graduate Teaching Award, the IEEE Third Millennium Medal, and the IEEE Darlington Award of the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society.

Dr. Temes holds degrees from the Technical University of Budapest in Engineering and Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest in physics, as well as a doctorate n Electrical Engineering from the University of Ottawa in Canada. 

2005 - Leon Chua

A professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of California at Berkeley, Dr. Leon O. Chua is widely recognized as the father of nonlinear circuit theory and cellular neural networks (CNN). The CNN architecture is the only one implemented into a practical fully programmable chip for solving ultra-high-speed pattern recognition and image processing problems. The CNN universal machine chip is capable of a thousand times greater performance in speed, weight, and power consumption than related technologies. Dr. Chua also invented a five-element circuit for generating chaotic signals. Aptly named the Chua Circuit, it is used by many researchers to design secure communications systems based on chaos.

An IEEE Fellow, he is a past president of the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society and former editor of the "IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems."