editor's blog
Subscribe Now

Steve Trimberger becomes ACM Fellow

Tomorrow, Steve Trimberger is to be inducted as an ACM fellow – an honor given to the top one percent of ACM members for achievements in computer science and information technology.  

[Read the press release here]

This strikes me as a significant milestone – not just for Trimberger – who definitely deserves the honor, and  not just for Xilinx – where Steve has done the majority of his work, but for the whole FPGA industry.  It’s unusual for a non-academic to receive this honor.  It’s also unusual for someone in an area as apparently tangential to computer science as FPGAs to be recognized.  Trimberger’s induction proves that FPGAs – to which Steve has made a significant contribution – are now seen as key technology in the computing space.  

Holding over 175 patents with dozens more pending, Trimberger is a fellow at Xilinx Research Labs where he has made significant contributions to FPGA technology, including architecture and tools for the XC4000 devices.  Many of his contributions are in the area of design tools for FPGA design where he was an early pioneer.  

As an interesting side note, one series of Trimberer’s patents – dated 1998 and 1999 – are for “Time Multiplexed Programmable Logic”.  Sound familiar?  Yep, this is basically the same thing that Tabula now calls “3D FPGAs” – for which they hold several of their own patents.  Is Trimberger also secretly the father of Tabula’s technology?  I don’t think there is an intellectual property equivalent of a Schwarzenegger or Edwards scandal hiding here, nor do I expect there to be any landmark litigation – unless, perhaps, Tabula hits a major market home run somewhere.  Tabula’s patents reference Trimberger’s, so it seems that their patent attorneys and technologists, at least, thought there was some fairly solid ground to stand on.

We chatted with Steve about the induction a couple weeks ago at Xilinx.  Steve was warm, funny, and humble.  As he walked through the astonishing highlights of his long career as an inventor, it is clear that Steve has that magic curiosity and problem-solving drive that all engineers should aspire to embody.  As he talked about the future, it was also clear that he is far from finished making major contributions to computing technology and to the planet.

What does one of the fathers of programmable logic technology do for an encore?  Steve hasn’t confined his creative genius to the landscape of LUTs.  Check out US Patent application number 20110005422 “Method and Apparatus for Cooling a Planet”.  Uh, Steve?  Please don’t test that one out in your backyard.  One thing I’m sure of – just by his presence, Steve has already made the planet a much cooler place.

Leave a Reply

featured blogs
Jul 3, 2020
[From the last episode: We looked at CNNs for vision as well as other neural networks for other applications.] We'€™re going to take a quick detour into math today. For those of you that have done advanced math, this may be a review, or it might even seem to be talking down...
Jul 2, 2020
Using the bitwise operators in general, and employing them to perform masking operations in particular, can be extremely efficacious....
Jul 2, 2020
In June, we continued to upgrade several key pieces of content across the website, including more interactive product explorers on several pages and a homepage refresh. We also made a significant update to our product pages which allows logged-in users to see customer-specifi...

Featured Video

Product Update: DesignWare® Foundation IP

Sponsored by Synopsys

Join Prasad Saggurti for an update on Synopsys’ DesignWare Foundation IP, including the world’s fastest TCAMs, widest-voltage GPIOs, I2C & I3C IOs, and LVDS IOs. Synopsys Foundation IP is silicon-proven in 7nm in more than 500,000 customer wafers, and 5nm is in development.

Click here for more information about DesignWare Foundation IP: Embedded Memories, Logic Libraries & GPIO

Featured Paper

Cryptography: A Closer Look at the Algorithms

Sponsored by Maxim Integrated

Get more details about how cryptographic algorithms are implemented and how an asymmetric key algorithm can be used to exchange a shared private key.

Click here to download the whitepaper

Featured Chalk Talk

MCU32 Graphics Overview

Sponsored by Mouser Electronics and Microchip

Graphical interfaces add a whole new dimension to embedded designs. But, designing a full-blown graphics interface is a major challenge for most embedded systems designers. In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton and Kurt Parker from Microchip Technology explain how you can add a modern graphics user interface to your next embedded design without a big learning curve.

Click here for more information about Microchip Technology MPLAB® X Integrated Development Environment