SAN JOSE, Calif. The stars of the electronics industry were recognized Tuesday (April 4) as CMP Media’s EE Times announced the winners of the Annual Creativity in Electronics (ACE) Awards at a dinner ceremony at the Fairmont Hotel here. The ACE Awards celebrate the most innovative companies, individuals and technologies of the past year as determined by a panel of expert judges.
The ACE Award for Innovator of the Year went to Leo Mathew, principal solid-state engineer for Freescale Semiconductor Inc., for his invention of the inverted T-channel field-effect transistor (ITFET), which combines vertical and horizontal structures into a single transistor. The technology promises to extend progressive CMOS scaling to the 45-nanometer and finer process nodes.
The Xbox 360 development team from IBM Corp. and Microsoft Corp. won the ACE Award for Design Team of the Year for the custom Xbox 360 microprocessor, developed to meet rigid performance requirements within a strict time-to-market window.
Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. was named large Company of the Year, for the company with annual sales greater than $1 billion that exhibits leadership through the highest degree of professionalism, staff development, customer focus, technical excellence and profitable growth.
PortalPlayer Inc. was recognized as the small/medium-sized Company of the Year, awarded to a company with annual sales of less than $1 billion. PortalPlayer followed a high-risk, high-reward strategy by cozying up to Apple Computer Inc. and winning a prized slot for its audio processors in Apple’s successful iPod players.
Michel Mayer, chairman and CEO of Freescale Semiconductor Inc., won the ACE Award for Executive of the Year. Mayer joined Freescale in 2004 and has led the former loss-making Motorola Semiconductor Products Sector to seven consecutive quarters of profitability, reenergized the corporate culture and started building a global brand.
The Startup of the Year is Wi-Fi chip set supplier Airgo Networks Inc., which pioneered the wireless communication technique known as multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) orthogonal frequency division multiplexing. The technique essentially integrates multiple radios into a single chip.
Cambrios Technologies Corp. won the ACE Award for Most Promising New Technology for its development of bio-mediated materials that could transform electronics manufacturing by bringing chemical-based self-assembly techniques found in nature to electronics production.
ACE Awards winners were chosen from the hundreds of submitted nominees that were narrowed to a field of five finalists then selected by a panel of 18 judges from industry, academia and Wall St.
The Editors’ Choice Award went to Cicso Systems Inc.’s CRS-1, the most powerful router ever built, which can be scaled to service millions of customers simultaneously while supporting continuously operating IP networks.
The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Wilfred J. Corrigan, founder and chairman of LSI Logic Corp. Under Corrigan’s leadership, LSI Logic helped develop the ASIC industry and became a leading ASIC supplier.
The ACE Awards Ultimate Products of the Year were awarded in seven categories. The winning analog IC was Texas Instruments Inc.’s TPA3200D1 Class-D digital amplifier. The winning processor/memory was Atmel Corp.’s AT91SAM7X128 and AT91SAM7X256 flash controllers. The award for interconnect, passives and electromechanical products went to Avago Technologies Pte.’s and Lumileds Lighting LLC’s Envisium Power PLCC-4 surface-mount LEDs . In the logic, interface and programmable logic category, the citation went to Xilinx Inc.’s Virtex-4 FX20 and FX60 field-programmable gate arrays .
In Ultimate Product of the Year in the power category was Texas Instruments Inc.’s TPS40100 synchronous dc/dc buck controller . The winner in the RF/microwave area was Analog Devices Inc.’s Othello-G radio chip for GSM/GPRS communications. And in the test/measurement competition, the winner was CWAV’s USBee AX-Standard, AX-Plus,and AX-Pro programmable oscilloscope test pods .
The Ultimate Product finalists were chosen by expert editors as the most significant products introduced over the past 12 months. Winners were determined by a vote of EE Times and eeProductCenter readers.
ACE Awards were also presented in two new non-competitive categories. The Educator of the Year was Geoffrey Orsak, dean of Southern Methodist University’s School of Engineering. Orsak is also director of the Infinity Project, which helps K-12 educators show students the value of math, science, and high-tech engineering. The ACE Award for Student of the Year went to Adam Sidman, of William J. Palmer High School in Colorado Springs, Colo., who developed a microelectromechanical system-based stablizer for handheld motion picture cameras.
Find in-depth descriptions of the 2006 EE Times ACE Awards winners in the publication’s April 10 issue.