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Carver Andress Mead born 1 May is an American scientist and engineer. A pioneer of modern microelectronics , he has made contributions to the development and design of semiconductors , digital chips, and silicon compilers , technologies which form the foundations of modern very-large-scale integration chip design.
In the s, he focused on electronic modelling of human neurology and biology, creating " neuromorphic electronic systems. Mead's contributions have arisen from the application of basic physics to the development of electronic devices, often in novel ways.
During the s, he carried out systematic investigations into the energy behavior of electrons in insulators and semiconductors, developing a deep understanding of electron tunneling , barrier behavior and hot electron transport.
Spitzer established the importance of interface states, laying the groundwork for band-gap engineering and the development of heterojunction devices. In , Mead designed the first gallium arsenide gate field-effect transistor using a Schottky barrier diode to isolate the gate from the channel.
Mead is credited by Gordon Moore with coining the term Moore's law ,  to denote the prediction Moore made in about the growth rate of the component count, "a component being a transistor, resistor, diode or capacitor,"  fitting on a single integrated circuit. Moore and Mead began collaborating around when Moore gave Mead "cosmetic reject" transistors from Fairchild Semiconductor for his students to use in his classes.
During the s Mead made weekly visits to Fairchild, visiting the research and development labs and discussing their work with Moore. During one of their discussions, Moore asked Mead whether electron tunneling might limit the size of a workable transistor. When told that it would, he asked what the limit would be.
Stimulated by Moore's question, Mead and his students began a physics-based analysis of possible materials, trying to determine a lower bound for Moore's Law. In , Mead demonstrated, contrary to common assumptions, that as transistors decreased in size, they would not become more fragile or hotter or more expensive or slower. Rather, he argued that transistors would get faster, better, cooler and cheaper as they were miniaturized.
This lower limit to transistor size was considerably smaller than had been generally expected. Mead was the first to predict the possibility of creating millions of transistors on a chip. His prediction implied that substantial changes in technology would have to occur to achieve such scalability. Mead was one of the first researchers to investigate techniques for very-large-scale integration, designing and creating high-complexity microchips.
He taught the world's first LSI design course, at Caltech in Throughout the s, with involvement and feedback from a succession of classes, Mead developed his ideas of integrated circuit and system design. He worked with Ivan Sutherland and Frederick B.
Thompson to establish computer science as a department at Caltech, which formally occurred in Their work caused a paradigm shift ,  a "fundamental reassessment" of the development of integrated circuits,  and "revolutionized the world of computers".
Johannsen created the first silicon compiler , capable of taking a user's specifications and automatically generating an integrated circuit. Cheng and others formed Silicon Compilers Inc. SCI in The companies then design special-purpose chips and outsource the chip fabrication to less expensive overseas semiconductor foundries. Next Mead began to explore the potential for modelling biological systems of computation: animal and human brains.
Observing graded synaptic transmission in the retina, Mead became interested in the potential to treat transistors as analog devices rather than digital switches. Mead was then successful in finding venture capital funding to support the start of a number of companies, in part due to an early connection with Arnold Beckman , chairman of the Caltech Board of Trustees. The first product Synaptics brought to market was a pressure-sensitive computer touchpad , a form of sensing technology that rapidly replaced the trackball and mouse in laptop computers.
In , Richard F. Lyon and Carver Mead described the creation of an analog cochlea , modelling the fluid-dynamic traveling-wave system of the auditory portion of the inner ear. Their work has inspired ongoing research attempting to create a silicon analog that can emulate the signal processing capacities of a biological cochlea.
In , Mead helped to form Sonix Technologies, Inc. Mead designed the computer chip for their hearing aids. In addition to being small, the chip was said to be the most powerful used in a hearing aid.
Release of the company's first product, the Natura hearing aid, took place in September In the late s, Mead advised Misha Mahowald , a PhD student in computation and neural systems, to develop the silicon retina, using analog electrical circuits to mimic the biological functions of rod cells , cone cells , and other excitable cells in the retina of the eye.
Around , Mead and others established Foveon , Inc. This provided more complete information and better quality photos compared to standard cameras, which detect one color per pixel. Mead's work underlies the development of computer processors whose electronic components are connected in ways that resemble biological synapses.
Using low-power methods of storing charges on FGMOSs, Impinj developed applications for flash memory storage and radio frequency identity tags. Carver Mead has developed an approach he calls Collective Electrodynamics , in which electromagnetic effects, including quantized energy transfer, are derived from the interactions of the wavefunctions of electrons behaving collectively.
The approach is related to John Cramer 's transactional interpretation of quantum mechanics, to the Wheeler—Feynman absorber theory of electrodynamics, and to Gilbert N. Lewis 's early description of electromagnetic energy exchange at zero interval [ clarification needed ] in spacetime. This reconceptualization makes predictions that differ from general relativity. Moreover, this difference in polarization can be detected by advanced LIGO.
Mead has been involved in the founding of at least 20 companies. The following list indicates some of the most significant, and their main contributions. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Carver Mead. Bakersfield, California , U.
Computer History Museum. Archived from the original on 8 March Retrieved 4 June Caltech News and Events. Retrieved 1 May Journal of Neural Engineering. Bibcode : JNEng.. ACM Pressroom. Archived from the original on 2 June Retrieved 5 June The New Yorker. Retrieved 8 June American Spectator.
Carver A. California Institute of Technology. Interview with Carver A. Mead — PDF. Retrieved 9 June Proceedings of the IRE. Retrieved 10 June Physical Review Letters. Bibcode : PhRvL Journal of Applied Physics. Bibcode : JAP Physical Review. Bibcode : PhRv.. Springer Verlag. Proceedings of the IEEE. High-frequency integrated circuits. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
CNET News. Retrieved 27 May Philadelphia, Pa: Chemical Heritage Press. Electronic Design. Thompson —". The Rand Corporation. Los Angeles Times. New York: HarperBusiness. University of Michigan. IEEE Spectrum. Cambridge, Mass. New York: W.
Frontiers in Neuroscience. Analog VLSI and neural systems. Reading, Mass.
Analog VLSI and neural systems
It seems that you're in Germany. We have a dedicated site for Germany. This volume contains the proceedings of a workshop on Analog Integrated Neural Systems held May 8, , in connection with the International Symposium on Circuits and Systems. The presentations were chosen to encompass the entire range of topics currently under study in this exciting new discipline. Stringent acceptance requirements were placed on contributions: 1 each description was required to include detailed characterization of a working chip, and 2 each design was not to have been published previously. In several cases, the status of the project was not known until a few weeks before the meeting date.