DRAM Inventor, Robert Dennard Dies

Robert Heath Dennard, the man who invented DRAM and a former researcher at IBM, died on April 23. His death at the age of 91 was only announced by his daughter last weekend due to a bacterial infection.

He started his career at IBM in 1958 and was involved in the development of early computers. In 1977, he discovered how to store one digital bit in a transistor. This was the beginning of the Dynamic Random-Access Memory (DRAM) technology that is now used in all computers, smartphones, tablets, smart watches and various other electronic devices that require temporary stored memory. Indirectly he also opened the door to the creation of Flash and SRAM memory.

In addition to creating DRAM, he also hit on Dennard Scaling (Dennard Scaling) which states that as transistors get smaller, their power density remains constant so that power consumption remains directly proportional to area.

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