Robert Dennard

Updated: 12/31/2022 by Computer Hope
Robert Dennard

Name: Robert H. Dennard

Born: September 5, 1932

Computer-related contributions

  • American electrical engineer and inventor.
  • Invented DRAM (dynamic random access memory) cells, one-transistor memory cells that store each single bit of information as an electrical charge in an electronic circuit in 1966.
  • Issued U.S. patent #3,387,286 on June 4, 1968, for a one-transistor DRAM cell. The technology permits major increases in memory density, and is widely adopted throughout the industry where it remains in widespread use today.
  • Dennard's law, stated in a paper he co-authored in 1974, states that the power density of a transistor remains constant as its size scales downward. In other words, as the manufactured size of a transistor becomes smaller, its voltage and current scale downward in equal proportion. This explains why newer generations of CPU become more energy efficient, despite having a higher number of (smaller) transistors. Although originally stated in the context of MOSFETs, Dennard's law applies to all types of transistors. Its effect is often called MOSFET scaling or Dennard scaling.

Honors and awards

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