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ACM Honors Electronic Design Automation Technologies Pioneer

Robert Brayton's Research Reduced Human Effort Needed to Design Digital Systems

Virginia Gold

The Association for Computing Machinery



Robert Brayton's Research Reduced Human Effort Needed to Design Digital Systems

New York, NY - March 29, 2007
- The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) has recognized Robert K. Brayton, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, for his innovative contributions to logic synthesis and electronic system simulation, which have made possible rapid circuit design technologies for the electronic design automation industry. Dr. Brayton's work has resulted in design automation methods used to speed the building of integrated circuits for applications in the consumer, defense, and health care fields. He will be honored with the ACM Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award, which honors specific theoretical accomplishments that significantly affect the practice of computing.

In addition to creating practical design tools, Dr. Brayton led efforts to implement the simulation and optimization of circuits for high speed operation. His research made possible the development of powerful circuit simulators that can verify circuit operation at the transistor level before committing to manufacturing an integrated circuit. His contributions have helped cut the cost of semiconductor chip design while allowing for better performance and electrical characteristics than those designed manually.

Dr. Brayton's work with a series of collaborators led to methods that have become the tool of choice for generating program-logic arrays, which are used to implement logic functions in digital circuits. His contributions also resulted in a collection of mathematical applications that form the heart of most hardware synthesis tools currently in use. In fact, virtually no major digital electronic circuit in the world is designed today without using some of the concepts pioneered by Brayton and his team.

Beginning in 1961, Dr. Brayton was a member of the Mathematical Sciences Department at IBM's T.J. Watson Research Center. In 1987, he joined the Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences Department at Berkeley, where he is the Cadence Distinguished Professor of Engineering. He is the author of more than 450 papers and ten books, including several publications that he co-wrote with Robert P. Kurshan, a co-winner of the 2005 ACM Kanellakis Award.

Dr. Brayton is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and of the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) as well as a member of the National Academy of Engineering. In 1991, he received the IEEE Circuits and Systems Technical Achievement Award. In 2000, he was the recipient of the IEEE Circuits and Systems Golden Jubilee Award, and the IEEE Millennium Medal. He was also the recipient of the 2006 European Design Automation Society lifetime achievement award presented at the Design, Automation and Test in Europe Conference and Exhibition in Munich, and the IEEE Emanuel R. Piore Award presented at the 2006 International Conference on Computer-Aided Design.

A graduate of Iowa State University, Dr. Brayton holds a BS degree in electrical engineering and a Ph.D. in mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

ACM will present the 2006 Kanellakis Award at its annual Awards Banquet on June 9, 2007, at the Del Coronado Hotel, in San Diego, CA.

The Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award honors specific theoretical accomplishments that have had a significant and demonstrable effect on the practice of computing. This award is endowed by contributions from the Kanellakis family, with additional financial support provided by ACM's Special Interest Groups on Algorithms and Computational Theory (SIGACT), Special Interest Group on Design Automation (SIGDA), Special Interest Group on Management of Data (SIGMOD), Special Interest Group on Programming Languages (SIGPLAN), the ACM SIG Project Fund, and individual contributions.

About ACM
ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, is an educational and scientific society uniting the world's computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field's challenges. ACM strengthens the profession's collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.

ACM/Press Release. Last updated March 29, 2007 by Steven Geringer