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Ron Rohrer

Ron Rohrer is Founder and Chairman of Alto Technologies, Inc. and University Professor Emeritus of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.

Ron received the B.S. (1960) degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the M.S. (1961) and Ph.D. (1963) degrees from the University of California (UC), Berkeley. A noted professor, tool innovator and entrepreneur, Ron is recognized as an early developer of circuit simulation, integrated circuit interconnect reduction and delay calculation. He is credited with driving Electronic Design Automation (EDA) tools into broader industry use. In 1968, in a graduate course he taught at UC, Berkeley, he oversaw the production of an integrated circuit simulation program similar to the FairCirc program he had developed earlier at Fairchild Semiconductor, a forerunner to SPICE (Simulation Program with Integrated Circuit Emphasis). Based on earlier Adjoint Circuit simulation work, in 1971, he developed the foundation of what became the industry standard technique for simulation of analog and RF IC noise. In 1982, while at GE, he launched the logic synthesis work that led to the Socrates logic synthesis tool that led to the formulation of Synopsys. In 1989, as a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, he introduced asymptotic waveform evaluation, which formed the basis for industry-wide interconnection reduction techniques for efficient delay calculation for ICs. Ron was the founding editor of the IEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems, and served as president of the IEEE's Circuits and Systems Society. He was elected Fellow of the IEEE in 1980 “for theoretical contributions and practical software for computer-aided circuit design.” In 1989 he was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering for contributions to circuit simulation that have enabled deep submicron IC design. He has authored five textbooks and over 100 technical papers. His many awards include the IEEE 1993 Education Medal “for innovation in bringing electrical engineering practice into the classroom and merging academic research with industrial need”, the 1996 NEC Computer and Communication Prize, a worldwide honor for pioneering contributions in electronics; and the 2002 Phil Kaufman award, presented by the EDA Consortium.