Reminiscences of the VLSI Revolution: How a Series of Failures Triggered a Paradigm Shift in Digital Design

  title={Reminiscences of the VLSI Revolution: How a Series of Failures Triggered a Paradigm Shift in Digital Design},
  author={Lynn Conway},
  journal={IEEE Solid-State Circuits Magazine},
  • L. Conway
  • Published 24 December 2012
  • Art
  • IEEE Solid-State Circuits Magazine
Innovations in science and engineering have excited me for a lifetime, as they have for many friends and colleagues. Unfortunately, our wider culture often imagines the engineering life to be one of tedium and technical drudgery, seldom witnessing the joys of such creativity. 
The Disappeared: Beyond Winning and Losing
The Conway Effect is introduced to elucidate the disappearance process of “others” who make innovative contributions in scientific and technical fields and their contributions are ascribed elsewhere.
The Heritage of Mead & Conway : What Has Remained the Same , What Has Changed , What Was Missed , and What Lies Ahead
I was an undergraduate student when I read Introduction to VLSI Systems [1] for the first time, in the early 1980s; most likely a copy brought to Italy by Prof. Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli on the
ASIC design and prototyping for education and innovation with a look on Latin America
  • J. Swart, C. Das
  • Computer Science
    2015 IEEE 6th Latin American Symposium on Circuits & Systems (LASCAS)
  • 2015
This paper presents a review of the development of IC design and prototyping deployment over the world with focus on opportunities, activities and results in Latin America. Historical evolution, main
The heritage of mead & conway: what has remained the same, what has changed, what was missed, and what lies ahead [point of view]
Introduction to VLSI Systems (Mead and Conway, 1979) introduced me to a world full of new ideas, and contributed to changing the voyage of my life, from mathematics and computer programming to electronic design automation (EDA).
The Optical Mouse: Early Biomimetic Embedded Vision
The 1980 Xerox optical mouse invention, and subsequent product, was a successful deployment of embedded vision, as well as of the Mead–Conway VLSI design methodology that we developed at Xerox PARC
What Is Robotics? Why Do We Need It and How Can We Get It?
The new discipline needs a departmental home in the universities which it can justify both intellectually and by its capacity to attract new diverse populations inspired by the age old human fascination with robots.
Special Section Guest Editorial:Control of Integrated Circuit Patterning Variance, Part 2: Image Placement, Device Overlay, and Critical Dimension
This PDF file contains the editorial “Special Section Guest Editorial:Control of Integrated Circuit Patterning Variance, Part 2: Image Placement, Device Overlay, and Critical Dimension” for JM3 Vol.
Teaching Undergraduates Certified Security by Design
What makes CSBD feasible at the undergraduate level is similar to what made very large scale integrated (VLSI) circuit design feasible in the 1980s: rigorous, simplified, and parameterized design and analytical methods spanning multiple levels of abstraction, and computeraided design and verification tools to mitigate complexity and problems of scale.
Certified Security by Design for the Internet of Things
The goal is to provide engineers and computer scientists with the means to fulfill their purpose by providing systems with credible assurances that complete mediation is satisfied by providing certified security by design (CSBD)1.
Silicon Micro and Nano Photonic Devices for Photonic Integrated Circuits
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xiii List of Abbreviations Used . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xiv Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . .


IBM-ACS: Reminiscences and Lessons Learned from a 1960's Supercomputer Project
  • L. Conway
  • Computer Science
    Dependable and Historic Computing
  • 2011
This paper contains reminiscences of my work as a young engineer at IBM-Advanced Computing Systems, a time that shaped the authors' later careers in very interesting ways.
Microelectronics and Computer Science
The functional architecture of the computer has traditionally been shaped by the size of specialized components and concepts of how people think. Microelectronics is now eliminating these constraints.
THE MPC ADVENTURES: Experiences with the Generation of VLSI Design and Implementation Methodologies
The Design of VLSI Design Methods
  • L. Conway
  • Computer Science
    ESSCIRC '82: Eighth European Solid-State Circuits Conference
  • 1982
The Mead-Conway VLSI design and implementation methodologies were deliberately generated to be simple and accessible, and yet have wide coverage and efficiency in application. An overview is given of
To the Digital Age: Research Labs, Start-up Companies, and the Rise of MOS Technology
From the Publisher: The metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) transistor is the fundamental element of digital electronics. The tens of millions of transistors in the home of a typical American-in
Funding a Revolution: Government Support for Computing Research
Funding a Revolution examines the history of computing since World War II to elucidate the federal government's role in funding computing research, supporting the education of computer scientists and engineers, and equipping university research labs.
Through the Gender Labyrinth
How a bright boy with a penchant for tinkering grew up to be one of the top women in her high-tech field I NTRODUCTION Late in 1998, a young researcher delving into the secret history of a
The Making of the First Microprocessor
  • F. Faggin
  • Engineering
    IEEE Solid-State Circuits Magazine
  • 2009
The paper discusses the making of the first microprocessor and its history of how it is made. The Intel 4004 CPU-on-a-chip was developed under pressure on an extremely tight schedule.
Towards the Principled Engineering of Knowledge
Methods for expanding the practice of knowledge engineering when applied to fields that are fragmented and undergoing rapid evolution are suggested and how the expanded practice can shape and accelerate the process of knowledge generation and refinement is outlined.
Cramming More Components Onto Integrated Circuits
  • G. Moore
  • Computer Science
    Proceedings of the IEEE
  • 1998
The future of integrated electronics is the future of electronics itself. The advantages of integration will bring about a proliferation of electronics, pushing this science into many new areas.