Distinguished Alumni Awards

Dan Dobberpuhl

Dan  Dobberpuhl
To Dan Dobberpuhl, for creativity and entrepreneurship in the design and engineering of low-power high-performance microprocessors.

Founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer, P. A. Semi, Inc., Santa Clara, CA

BS, 1967, Electrical Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Dan Dobberpuhl joined Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) in 1976 and was responsible for five generations of microprocessor designs, including the initial Alpha CPUs and the StrongARM. In the mid-1990s, he served as the technical director of DEC’s Low Power Microprocessor Group. By 1998, he was serving as one of DEC’s five senior corporate consulting engineers. During his years with DEC, Dobberpuhl made a name for himself in the high-tech world by patenting seven VLSI circuit designs, co-authoring the book, The Design and Analysis of VLSI Circuits (1985), and writing numerous technical journal articles. Forbes magazine picked him as one of the 100 most influencial people in the high-tech industry, and one of the 40 forces that would shape the semiconductor industry of tomorrow.

In 1998,Dobberpuhl left DEC along with two other former co-workers and founded SiByte, Inc. SiByte became a leading developer of high-performance, highly integrated processor chips for networking and communications applications. With 120 engineering employees, SiByte developed and delivered chip multi-processor solutions for high-speed LAN, MAN, and WAN networks,VoIP gateways, optical networking, and wireless communications. SiByte’s premier product was the Mercurian processor, a family of high-performance processor solutions, designed specifically for current- and next-generation networks. In December 2000, SiByte was acquired by the Broadcom Corporation.

In 2003, Dobberpuhl founded P. A. Semi and served as its president and chief executive officer. A fabless semiconductor company, P. A. Semi developed the high-performance and low-power PWRficient processor family, which is based on Power Architecture technology. In April 2008, P. A. Semi was acquired by Apple.

Over his career, Dobberpuhl has mentored many engineers who have now become leaders in their own right.

 Current as of 2009.