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
Jan 17, 2020
I once met Steve Wozniak, or he once met me (it's hard to remember the nitty-gritty details)....
Jan 17, 2020
[From the last episode: We saw how virtual memory helps resolve the differences between where a compiler thinks things will go in memory and the real memories in a real system.] We'€™ve talked a lot about memory '€“ different kinds of memory, cache memory, heap memory, vi...
Jan 16, 2020
While Samtec started as a connector company with a focus on two-piece, pin-and-socket board stacking systems, High-Speed Board Stacking connectors and High-Speed Cable Assemblies now make up a significant portion of our sales. To support development in this area, in December ...
Jan 16, 2020
Betting on Hydrogen-Powered Cars On-demand DRC within P&R cuts closure time in half for MaxLinear Functional Safety Verification For AV SoC Designs Accelerated With Advanced Tools Automating the pain out of clock domain crossing verification Mentor unpacks LVS and LVL iss...

Featured Video

RedFit IDC SKEDD Connector

Sponsored by Wurth Electronics and Mouser Electronics

Why attach a header connector to your PCB when you really don’t need one? If you’re plugging a ribbon cable into your board, particularly for a limited-use function such as provisioning, diagnostics, or testing, it can be costly and clunky to add a header connector to your BOM, and introduce yet another component to pick and place. Wouldn’t it be great if you could plug directly into your board with no connector required on the PCB side? In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton chats with Ben Arden from Wurth Electronics about Redfit, a slick new connector solution that plugs directly into standard via holes on your PCB.

Click here for more information about Wurth Electronics REDFIT IDC SKEDD Connector