David R. Ditzel

David Ditzel
David R. Ditzel
chief executive officer of Transmeta Corporation

DAVID DITZEL is chief executive officer of Transmeta Corporation. He founded Transmeta in 1995 to develop his vision for a new kind of computer - one that would learn how to improve its performance and save power as it ran, the first to use advanced software as part of the processor itself. Ditzel has worked in advanced computer design for over 25 years, first as a computer architect and later in management and leadership roles for over 20 advanced processor design efforts. His work first attracted industry wide attention in 1980, when he coauthored "The Case for the Reduced Instruction Set Computer." RISC techniques were subsequently adopted by all major processor vendors.

Before founding Transmeta, Ditzel was director of SPARC Labs and chief technical officer at Sun Microsystems Microelectronics division, where he built the teams for several advanced SPARC processors, extended SPARC to 64-bit addressing, and led a research team in low-power computing. In 1991, he hired most of the former Soviet Union's supercomputer design team and led these 200 engineers in one of the first joint United States-Russia high-technology projects.

Ditzel came to Sun from AT&T Bell Laboratories in 1987, where he was the chief architect of the CRISP Microprocessor, AT&T's first RISC chip. Before coming to Bell Laboratories, Ditzel spent 4 years working on the SYMBOL computer. SYMBOL implemented an operating system, compiler and text editor completely in hardware.

Ditzel, who has published over 30 technical papers in the field of advanced computer design, holds a masters degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of California at Berkeley and a bachelors degree in electrical engineering and a bachelors degree in computer science from Iowa State University. He is a sought-after speaker on computer design and has founded two new conferences, Hot Chips and Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems.