Ethernet equipment

Light Reading's Hall of Fame: The First Five

Fiber-to-the-whatever is the "in" thing now, but the broadband craze started with copper. And it's through the research and entrepreneurship of John Cioffi, a Stanford University professor (now emeritus) that the Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) industry came to life.

Even in the 1980s, copper was presumed to be too slow for the communications of the future. Fiber was the way to go. But Cioffi's research into discrete multitone (DMT) modulation paved the way for high-speed copper communications.

The DSL industry ignited after Cioffi founded Amati Communications, which went public and was eventually acquired by Texas Instruments Inc. (NYSE: TXN) in 1998. (Through another acquisition and a spinoff, the Amati heritage is now in the hands of Lantiq Semiconductor .)

Cioffi is still cracking DSL. His more recent research focused on dynamic spectrum management (DSM), now the basis of startup Assia Inc. , founded in 2003. But it's his initial work in laying a foundation for broadband that has cemented his place in the Hall of Fame.

Page 4: Bernie Ebbers

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cnwedit 12/5/2012 | 4:19:45 PM
re: Light Reading's Hall of Fame: The First Five

Like all visionaries and risk-takers, McCaw also suffered some spectacular failures -- Teledesic comes to mind as his boldest vision, and biggest single failure (though maybe not as personally costly as the divorce.)

jayja 12/5/2012 | 4:19:43 PM
re: Light Reading's Hall of Fame: The First Five

I thought Don was doing pretty well in your voting.

As someone who has made a career and raised a family on his invention, I can't understand how he is not on this list. 

Though when I see Bernie Ebbers and Jacob Alexander on the list, and compare them to a gentleman of high character like Don, maybe that's not so bad.

“I'd never join a club that would allow a person like me to become a member.” - Grouch Marx

Next year?

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 4:19:42 PM
re: Light Reading's Hall of Fame: The First Five

Next year, maybe. We only reserved the five spots for this first salvo ... but it's good to know we've got a strong pool of candidates to add to the list in the future. Thanks for the input.

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 4:19:17 PM
re: Light Reading's Hall of Fame: The First Five

Bob Metcalfe is joining the University of Texas, Austin, as Professor of Innovation and <clearing throat grandly> Murchison Fellow of Free Enterprise. Wonder if he also gets to wield the Scepter of Market Openness.

News release:  Bob Metcalfe Goes Back To School.

He did an amusing and very Metcalfian interview with Mass High Tech, where he cites Austin's music scene and the daily JetBlue Austin-to-Boston flight.  He also says he's working on a book -- not an e-book, but an "n"-book, the "n" standing for "networked." Of course, he doesn't explain.


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