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Developer of advanced computing memory, father of biochemical engineering, and innovative engineering educators win highest engineering honors of 2009
Date:1/5/2009

e at that time. Dennard's ability to use only a single metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) transistor a device that conducts electricity, amplifying the charge as the electricity is passed along allowed his memory cell to be much smaller and simpler in design than its predecessor.

In addition, Dennard and associates developed the set of consistent scaling principles for miniaturizing MOS transistors and the integrated circuits using them, which are the basis for today's electronic microprocessor and DRAM chips. In the early 1970s the industry was concerned with how far MOS transistors could be miniaturized without affecting their switching ability. Dennard's IBM group introduced a theory called constant-field scaling which addressed these issues. This scaling allowed for computers to run faster on significantly less energy and thus be less costly to operate and is a major driver of the industry. His 1974 paper on MOS transistor scaling is universally referenced and has been reprinted as a "Classic Paper" in the PROCEEDINGS OF THE IEEE.

The availability of cheap, high-density memory that has come about due to the invention of the DRAM cell has enabled tremendous growth in computing over the past 40 years. The DRAM market is estimated to have totaled $420 billion in sales through 2008.

After earning B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from Southern Methodist University and a Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University in 1958, Dennard spent his entire professional career in various positions at IBM, including the prestigious title of IBM Fellow beginning in 1979. He was elected to the NAE in 1984.

THE FRITZ J. AND DOLORES H. RUSS PRIZE

Elmer Gaden is known as the "father of biochemical engineering" and was instrumental in ushering in the global availability of antibiotics such as penicillin. His breakthroughs in developing technologies that provide the proper amount of oxygen needed for the gro
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Contact: Nathan Kahl
nkahl@nae.edu
202-334-2226
National Academy of Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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