DRESDEN, Germany Professor Peter Denyer, a pioneer of CMOS imaging sensor technology for cameras and a prominent member of the Scottish electronics community, died of cancer on April 22, five days before his 57th birthday.
Born on the south-coast of England, Denyer moved to Scotland to study for doctorate at the University of Edinburgh. In 1986, at the age of 33, he became that university's youngest professor when he took the Chair of Integrated Electronics.
From there Professor Denyer launched numerous startup companies and did much to enhance both the region's and the university's reputation for excellence in electronics.
Professor Denyer founded and served as chief executive officer of VLSI Vision Ltd. from its inception in 1990, through its flotation as Vision Group plc in 1995 and its growth and sale to STMicroelectronics in 1999. In less than a decade the company had pioneered and established the CMOS image sensor as a practical and lower-cost alternative to the charge-coupled device (CCD) sensor. The CMOS image sensor is now ubiquitous in most forms of mobile electronic equipment.
In 2008 Professor Denyer and collaborators David Renshaw and Chinese scientists Lu Mingying and Wang Guoyo were awarded the Rank prize for the their contribution to mobile phone technology.
Prior to his work on CMOS imaging Professor Denyer led research into semiconductor chip design at the University of Edinburgh and his research has been recognized with numerous awards including the Royal Academy of Engineering silver medal and the IEEE millennium medal.
Denyer was a serial entrepreneur and latterly an angel investor in Scottish electronics startups. After the sale of Vision to STMicroelectronics Professor Denyer helped found MicroEmissive Displays Ltd., a developer of polymer organic light emitting diode based microdisplays. He also served as non-executive chairman of Scottish test company Ateeda Ltd.