The millimeter-wave gallium nitride (GaN) technology created by Miro Micovic is perhaps the most significant new development of the past 20 years impacting semiconductor technologies for the radio-frequency and wireless industries. His patented innovations have changed the competitive landscape for monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMICs) that operate at millimeter wave frequencies. He conceived a growth method that enabled the development of precisely engineered epitaxial structures that would prove to be essential for high-performance millimeter-wave devices. His creations helped convince the technical community that GaN technology could ultimately surpass existing state-of-the-art methods for millimeter-wave power amplification. He also demonstrated that high-frequency GaN technology is integral to robust, broadband, low-noise amplification. The high-performance millimeter-wave components made possible by Micovic’s work have enabled sensors integral to 94-GHz imaging radar, point-to-point communication for emerging 5G networks, and satellite communication links.
An IEEE Fellow, Micovic is an Engineering Fellow with Raytheon, Tucson, AZ, USA.
Thomas Kenny participated in development of a leading-edge wafer-scale fabrication process for microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) silicon devices, which has allowed the mass commercialization of MEMS resonators for timing applications in today’s smart watches, smart phones, and fitness trackers. This thin-film encapsulation process, known as epi-seal, helped MEMS resonators realize their advantages of exceptional stability, lower power consumption, cost, and smaller thickness of packaged devices over traditional quartz crystals. Epi-seal allows the fabrication of MEMS resonators at the wafer-level, integrated with the package, and provides the material quality and long-term stability needed for low-cost and reliable operation, all in an ultra-small die size important for mobile and wearable technologies. To further spur commercialization, Kenny cofounded SiTime, which became a leading supplier of MEMS resonators integral to the devices people use every day.
An IEEE Senior member, Kenny is the Richard Weiland professor with the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and currently serves as senior associate dean of Engineering for Student Affairs at Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.
Rajiv V. Joshi’s innovations revolutionized industrial techniques and products across many domains: interconnect process technology, circuits, SRAM design, technology modeling, and CAD. He has overcome previously insurmountable barriers to scaling. Joshi’s development and commercialization of statistical methodologies for variability analysis of novel memories and application of new technologies to SRAMs paved the way for widespread industrial adoption of statistical techniques. His innovations to interconnect processes and structures for multiple metallization technologies—aluminum, tungsten, and copper—have been widely used in IBM memory and logic processes. His developments have been broadly licensed and commercialized to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. They are engrained in every facet of modern life: in servers; low-power, hand-held devices; and the wearable computing market.
An IEEE Fellow, Joshi is a Research Staff Member at IBM T. J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, NY, USA.
In creating the field of neuroengineering, Miguel A.L. Nicolelis’ pioneering work on brain-machine interfaces has completely changed people’s perception of what brains can do and how such research can be rapidly applied to help humans. Nicolelis demonstrated that humans can use raw brain activity to directly communicate with mechanical, electronic, and virtual devices in real time and in a closed control loop. He played a key role in the development of a robotic exoskeleton that can help paralyzed individuals to walk. He focused on methods to read a paraplegic person’s brain waves and decode and use them to move hydraulic drivers on the suit. His work has great implications for patients with epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, and spinal cord injury.
An IEEE member, Nicolelis is the Duke School of Medicine Distinguished Professor of Neuroscience at Duke University, Durham, NC, USA.
An international leader in the field of micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS), the innovations of Mark G. Allen are playing a major role in improving patient care and reducing healthcare costs. His development and commercialization, together with co-workers, of a fully implantable wireless sensor technology for monitoring heart pressure, known as the CardioMEMS Heart Failure System, allows physicians to better regulate patient activity and adjust medication regimes. Allen’s innovation represents the first MEMS sensor approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for permanent implantation in humans. Clinical studies of Allen’s sensor have demonstrated a 37% reduction in hospital admissions and a 78% reduction in re-admissions, providing better quality of life for patients.
An IEEE Fellow, Allen is the Alfred Fitler Moore Professor with the Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
The visionary contributions of Khalil Najafi have helped advance the development of micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) technology synonymous with the sensors ingrained in today’s automotive, mobile, and biomedical applications. In 1994 he developed the first micromachined vibrating ring gyroscope featuring a high-aspect ratio electroplated nickel process integrated with CMOS electronics. This device was commercialized and became the highest performing automotive gyroscope. His work showing that sensitive multi-axis accelerometers could be fabricated in a system-in-package approach helped the introduction of accelerometers in mobile phones. He also demonstrated wafer-level vacuum encapsulation with a biocompatible glass-silicon package that could remain airtight for 20 years, which paved the way for implantable wireless biomedical devices.
An IEEE Fellow, Dr. Najafi is the Schlumberger Professor of Engineering and Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.
Gabriel M. Rebeiz’s vision in guiding microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technology to market for radio-frequency (RF) applications has resulted in reliable and efficient components essential to smartphone operation and defense communications. Dr. Rebeiz was one of the first to introduce MEMS technology to the RF/microwave field, where moving submillimeter-sized components provide RF functionality, resulting in tunable filters and antennas and wideband switches for wireless applications. His contributions have allowed high-performance RF components that provide higher data rates, lower power consumption, and higher power handling than traditional solid-state devices. Recognizing reliability issues that threatened commercialization of RF MEMS technology, Dr. Rebeiz provided solutions to stress, temperature, dielectric charging, and packaging concerns. This work was instrumental in the continued advancement of the technology.
An IEEE Fellow, Dr. Rebeiz is a Distinguished Professor with the University of California, San Diego, CA, USA.
Jan P. Allebach’s innovative halftone imaging technology for high-quality digital printing can be found in hundreds of millions of inkjet printers. Dr. Allebach’s tone-dependent error diffusion (TDED) algorithm was a major improvement to digital halftone image processing that overcame the poor image quality of early digital printers. His algorithm is a core technology found in Hewlett-Packard products ranging from affordable desktop printers to complex multifunction printing devices. The TDED is an enhancement of Dr. Allebach’s direct binary search (DBS) algorithm. Considered the gold standard for dispersed-dot halftone imaging, the DBS algorithm wasn’t suitable for the needs of desktop printers. Dr. Allebach’s team modified the error diffusion architecture to overcome undesirable texture patterns caused by traditional error diffusion algorithms to create an algorithm that could generate DBS-like images but for real-time systems such as desktop linkjet printers.
An IEEE Fellow, Dr. Allebach is the Hewlett-Packard Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA.
Subramanian S. Iyer’s pioneering development of embedded dynamic random access memory (eDRAM) has boosted the power of computer processors for applications ranging from high-end servers to gaming consoles and personal electronics. Dr. Iyer recognized the need for large amounts of high-density, high-performance, and high-bandwidth memory placed close to the integrated circuit to fully exploit the power of computer processors. His eDRAM technology allows for integration of very large amounts of dense on-chip memory with significantly lower power and higher reliability compared to conventional methods. The on-chip memory solution has enabled more memory to be placed on smaller chips, resulting in systems with higher performance. Dr. Iyer has been the driving force in IBM’s commercialization of eDRAM, guiding it through all stages of development, and it has also become a standard feature of IBM’s application-specific integrated circuits.
An IEEE Fellow and IBM Fellow, Dr. Iyer is chief technologist with the Microelectronics Division of IBM’s Systems & Technology Group, Hopewell Junction, NY, responsible for technical strategy, embedded memory, and three-dimensional integration.
The persistence and contributions of Mark L. Burgener and Ronald E. Reedy overcame barriers to make silicon on sapphire (SOS) technology commercially feasible for wireless communications. Drs. Burgener and Reedy stood by SOS technology that, despite great promise, had initially been abandoned by semiconductor market leaders. First discovered during the 1960s, SOS technology presented manufacturing problems that prevented companies from pursuing commercialization. The efforts of Drs. Burgener and Reedy during the 1980s and 1990s overcame these obstacles, making SOS commercially viable for producing integrated circuits with improved speed, lower power consumption, and more isolation compared to bulk silicon circuits. Even after demonstrating viable SOS circuits, the pair had to erase the stigma associated with the earlier problems. They co-founded Peregrine Semiconductor in 1990 to spur their commercialization efforts. They developed the UltraCMOS process, which solved critical manufacturing issues and made SOS cost-effective. After an initial shipment of 100 chips in 1995, today Peregrine has sold over 500 million UltraCMOS integrated circuits.
Both IEEE Members, Dr. Burgener is vice president of advanced research and Dr. Reedy is the chief operating officer at Peregrine Semiconductor Corporation, San Diego, Calif.
The combined contributions of Takehisa Yaegashi, Shoichi Sasaki, and Shinichi Abe enabled the development and commercialization of hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) that have revolutionized the automotive industry. They created the “Toyota Hybrid System” (THS), resulting in the 1997 Toyota Prius and impacting future versions of HEV technology. The world’s first mass-produced HEV, the Prius obtained revolutionary fuel efficiency using the THS. Dr. Yaegashi directed the establishment of the integrated vehicle energy management system. He then improved the first-generation technology to create THS II, featured in the 2004 Prius, which significantly improved fuel efficiency, performance, and cost reduction. Professor Sasaki developed a unified control algorithm that achieved optimal fuel efficiency and control of the engine, motor, and battery. His algorithm has been applied to all Toyota hybrid vehicles. Mr. Abe was responsible for ensuring low emissions and drivability of the vehicle. He implemented a variable valve-timing mechanism to reduce the shock that was instrumental in THS and THS II system efficiency exceeding that of hydrogen fuel-cell hybrids at that time as well as of conventional ICE vehicles.
Dr. Yaegashi, Professor Sasaki and Mr. Abe are IEEE Members. Dr. Yaegashi is president of Cordia Corporation, Ltd., Shizuoka, Japan.
Mr. Sasaki is currently a Professor at Keio University Graduate School of System Design and Management, Yokohama, Japan.
Mr. Abe is general manager of Toyota Motor Corporation’s Hybrid Vehicle Management System Development Division, Aichi, Japan.
With expertise that spans from fundamental research to practical product development, Dr. Weber’s career has been devoted to the advancement of plasma display panel technology. Dr. Weber developed the energy recovery sustain circuit, which reduces dissipated power of a plasma display panel by hundreds of watts, cutting power consumption in half. His ramp set-up waveform overcame the problem inherent in many display technologies of obtaining very dark regions of an image.
Dr. Weber transitioned from university researcher to business leader in 1987 when he founded Plasmaco and acquired what was then the world’s largest facility for manufacturing plasma displays. Panasonic later acquired Plasmaco as a wholly owned subsidiary, and Dr. Weber helped Panasonic develop its first commercial plasma television products in 1997. Dr. Weber was the first to demonstrate a high-quality 60-inch high-definition television image in 1999, ushering in today’s large-screen flat-panel market.
An IEEE Fellow, Dr. Weber has been recognized with numerous awards for his work in plasma displays. He is currently retired but holds 15 patents on plasma displays.
James M. Daughton, Stuart Parkin and Saied Tehrani each made key contributions to Magneto-Resistive Random Access Memory (MRAM) technology. The work of Dr. Daughton in sensors and couplers, Dr. Parkin in Magnetic Tunnel Junction, and Dr. Tehrani in materials and processes, when combined, helped make MRAM a viable memory technology for both military and commercial applications. MRAM is an integrated-circuit access memory fabricated with nanotechnology. Using an electron spin to store data, it has the capability to combine many of the best attributes of different types of semiconductor memories.
Dr. Daughton retired from NVE Corporation, Eden Prairie, MN in 2006; a company he founded in 1989. He served his last five years with the company as its chief technology officer, after serving as chief executive officer. Before founding NVE, Dr. Daughton spent more than 15 years at Honeywell Inc., where he was vice president of research and development, and 10 years at IBM, working on magnetic and semiconductor memory devices. Dr. Daughton has served as a distinguished lecturer for the IEEE Magnetics Society and has been awarded the Patent Invention and Outstanding Achievement Awards from IBM. An IEEE Life Fellow, Dr. Daughton has published approximately 80 papers and holds more than 40 patents. He received bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees in electrical engineering from Iowa State University.
Dr. Parkin is an IBM Fellow at the IBM Almaden Research Center, San Jose, California, where he manages the magnetoelectrics group, directs the IBM-Stanford Spintronic Science and Applications Center, and serves as a consulting professor at Stanford University. Dr. Parkin has received numerous awards and honors including: distinguished lecturer for the IEEE Magnetics Society; the Economist Magazine’s “No Boundaries” Award for Innovation; the American Institute of Physics Prize for Industrial Applications of Physics; the European Physical Society’s Hewlett-Packard Europhysics Prize; and the American Physical Society’s International New Materials Prize (1994). He is a Fellow of the IEEE, AAAS, APS, MRS and the Royal Society, has two honorary doctorates and has authored more than 360 papers and holds more than 70 patents. He received a bachelor’s, masters and doctorate from the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, all in physics.
Dr. Tehrani is Director of Analog and Mixed Signal Technologies at Freescale Semiconductor (formerly the semiconductor division of Motorola, Inc.). His R&D team is responsible for the development of power, analog, RF, sensor, and magneto-resistive random access memory (MRAM) technologies. Dr. Tehrani became a Motorola Fellow in 2000 and a Freescale Semiconductor Fellow in 2006. He has co-authored more than 80 articles in refereed journals, given more than 20 invited presentations at various international conferences, and has 75 issued patents. He received a bachelor’s from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte,and a masters and doctorate in electrical engineering from the University of Florida, Gainesville.
Stephen Forrest, Richard Friend and Ching Tang have amassed a substantial list of accomplishments in the field of light-emitting diodes. The three Noble Award co-recipients have conducted pioneering research with organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) that has resulted in the development and quick commercialization of flat-panel displays. Their work is present in today’s state of the art high definition televisions and also is beginning to be incorporated in common portable electronic devices. Today, more than 85 companies have brought flat-panel displays to market as a result of the developments driven by these three gentlemen. OLED displays are becoming increasingly popular and also are beginning to replace small liquid crystal displays (LCDs) in handheld electronics such as cell phones, MP3 players and digital cameras because they consume less power, are thinner and lighter, and can be made using inexpensive manufacturing processes such as inkjet printing. OLEDs also have exceptional video image qualities that have enhanced the quality of solid-state general lighting.
An IEEE Fellow, Dr. Forrest is the William Gould Dow Collegiate Professor in Electrical Engineering; Professor in the Departments of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Materials Science and Engineering, and Physics; and Vice President for Research at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI, and previously received the IEEE Lasers and Electro-Optics Society William Streifer Scientific Achievement Award.
Dr. Friend was knighted by the Queen of England for services to physics in 2003 and is a professor at the University of Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratory in the United Kingdom. Dr. Friend is a Fellow of the Royal Society, Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, and received the Hewlett-Packard Prize from the European Physical Society.
Dr. Tang is Doris Johns Cherry Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Rochester in Rochester, NY, and senior research associate and group leader of OLED Research at Eastman Kodak Research Laboratories. Dr. Tang is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, a Fellow of the Society for Information Display, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.
A full professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Colorado, Carlos A. Paz de Araujo’s groundbreaking work led to the development of integrated circuit-embedded FeRAMs used in smart cards, electronic money and other products that have revolutionized how people live.
As a founder of RAMTRON and chairman and founder of Symetrix Corporation, both in Colorado Springs, Colorado, he identified SrBi2Ta203 (SBT), the ferroelectric material used in the most advanced FeRAMs. This material resolves the fatigue problem and fabrication difficulties in these memory chips and ensures that stored information is retained even after power is switched off after more than 100 billion erase and rewrite operations.
Using technology similar to SBT, Dr. Paz de Araujo and his colleagues were the first to use ferroelectric thin-films as a high-k capacitor for cellular phones, integrated on a set of gallium arsenide chips. The resulting devices were 50 times smaller and drew only a fraction of the power of their predecessors. This chip set technology was a major factor in enabling the compact size of today’s cellular telephones and has been incorporated into hundreds of millions of cellular phones currently in use all over the world. Working with scientists at Matsushita Electric Industry Company in Japan, Dr. Paz de Araujo then adapted SBT technology to contactless smart cards that permit information to be continuously upgraded during use. At the present, smart cards are used for applications ranging from railway and toll-road passes to corporate security cards, drivers’ licenses, telephone cards and RFID smart tags
The ferroelectric memories Dr. Paz de Araujo developed permit a write speed of 60 billionths of a second with very little degradation after more than 100 billion erase-and-write operations. He and his Symetrix colleagues have since worked to increase memory density for mobile connected devices such as wireless handhelds and third-generation cell phones.
Dr. Paz de Araujo is the editor of The Journal of Integrated Ferroelectrics, and chairman of the International Symposium on Integrated Ferroelectrics. He has edited two books on integrated ferroelectrics, holds 176 patents and is the author or coauthor of more than 286 papers on ferroelectrics.
He has bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.
Dr. David L. Harame led the development of the world's first successful silicon germanium (SiGe) technology generally available for analog and communications circuits used in wireless communications equipment, optical network interfaces, GPS and cellular telephones. Dr. Harame was the first to make SiGe devices using ultra high-vacuum chemical vapor deposition to deposit the SiGe layer. The technologies he developed and later installed in IBM's Essex Junction, Vermont manufacturing facility in 1998, set records for the performance of silicon bipolar transistors and is still running in high volume today. Based on his work, SiGe HBTs now exceed frequencies of 390 GHz. This enables products based on existing compound semiconductor technology to be replaced with higher-performance,lower-power and lower-cost SiGe HBT technology commonly used in many products containing high-frequency analog circuits such as cell phone, WLAN, high-speed test and fiber optic applications.
An IEEE and IBM Fellow, Dr. Harame has received two IBM Outstanding Innovation Awards.
Dr. Larry J. Hornbeck, a TI Fellow and an employee of Texas Instruments since 1973, invented the Digital Micromirror Device (DMD) in 1987 and led its development. A microchip that enables all-digital, source-to-eye projection, the DMD revolutionized projection displays. Thanks to its small size, high brightness and exceptional image fidelity, stability and reliability, many of the world's top display manufacturers market projectors and big-screen TVs based on the DMD microchip for conference rooms, home entertainment, large venues, and digital cinema.
An IEEE Member and International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE) Fellow, Dr. Hornbeck has received numerous awards, including an Emmy from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, and the David Sarnoff Medal Award from the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers. The author or co-author of 27 publications, Dr. Hornbeck holds 32 US patents.
Dr. Masataka Nakazawa has been at the forefront of optical communications throughout much of his career. His best-known innovation resulted from his pumping scheme for erbium-doped fibers using 1.48 µm InGaAsP laser diodes. It led to the construction of the pioneering, compact EDFA, spawning thousands of optical transmission experiments and facilitating internet protocol over wavelength-division multiplexed technology. A Fellow of the IEEE, Optical Society of America, Institute of Electronics, Information and Communication Engineers of Japan (IEICE) and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation, he holds 100 patents and has published more than 300 papers.
His numerous awards include the IEE Electronics Letters Premium Award, two Outstanding Achievement Awards of the IEICE and an Outstanding Research Award from Japan’s Ministry of Science and Technology Agency. Dr. Nakazawa is a professor at the Research Institute of Electrical Communication of Tohoku University in Miyagi-Ken, Japan.