When Hornbeck invented the technology at Texas Instruments in 1987, the first chips had thousands of these tiny mirrors. Now they have millions. The technology has grown widely in the last two decades and is useful for a variety of telecommunications and display, medical, printing, measurement and other applications. For early news items about this work see http://www.aip.org/pnu/1997/split/pnu302-3.htm and http://www.aip.org/pnu/2006/split/797-2.html.
Hornbeck was born on September 17, 1943, in St. Louis, Missouri. After earning his Ph.D. in solid state physics from Case Western Reserve University in 1973, he joined the Central Research Laboratories of Texas Instruments in Dallas, Texas. Over the span of his career at Texas Instruments, he has developed CCD image sensors, uncooled infrared detectors, and reflective spatial light modulators, including various microelectromechanical systems, and Digital Micromirror Devices. As of 2007, he holds 33 U.S. patents.
He is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, a Fellow of the International Society for Optical Engineering, and an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering. Hornbeck and his wife, Laura, reside on a 32-acre property in the country near Van Alstyne, Texas, north of Dallas. They have two sons, Jason and David.
Hornbeck has received numerous national and international awards and honors. These include the (2007) Progress Medal from the Royal Photographic Society; the (2005) Progress Medal from the Photographic Society of America; the (2004) Da
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American Institute of Physics