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Daniel W. Dobberpuhl


Daniel W. Dobberpuhl

Daniel W. Dobberpuhl
Born (1945-03-25) March 25, 1945
Streator, Illinois
Nationality United States
Education University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign: bachelor of science in Electrical Engineering
Engineering career
Engineering discipline Microprocessor design
Employer(s) retired
Significant projects MicroVAX, Alpha, StrongARM, PWRficient
Significant design DEC Alpha
Significant awards IEEE Solid-State Circuits Award (2003)

Daniel "Dan" W. Dobberpuhl (born 1945) is an electrical engineer in the United States who led several teams of microprocessor designers.


Dobberpuhl was born in Streator, Illinois on March 25, 1945. He graduated with a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 1967. He worked as an engineer for the Department of Defense until 1973 when he worked for GE Integrated Circuits Lab in Syracuse, New York, making application-specific integrated circuits.

In 1976 Dobberpuhl joined Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) in Hudson, Massachusetts as a semiconductor engineer and led teams designing microprocessors such as the DEC T-11 and MicroVAX. He rose to become one of five senior corporate consulting engineers, DEC's highest technical positions.[1] As such he led the teams designing the first three generations of the DEC Alpha processor and published a 1985 text book called "a leading text in the field."[2]

He founded and directed the company’s Palo Alto, California Design Center in 1993 where the StrongARM architecture was designed.

In 1998 Dobberpuhl co-founded SiByte, where as president he led the design of the SB1250 high performance MIPS System-on-a-chip processor. In 1998, EE Times named Dobberpuhl as one of the "40 forces to shape the future of the Semiconductor Industry." SiByte was funded by venture capital as well as large companies such as ATI Technologies, Cisco Systems, and Juniper Networks.[3] After a third round of $40 Million was raised in May 2000, the company was bought by Broadcom in November of that year for stock worth over $2 Billion.[4] Dobberpuhl stayed until 2003 as vice president and general manager of the Broadcom broadband processor division.

In 2003 the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers named him a recipient of the IEEE Solid-State Circuits Award for "Pioneering design of high-speed and low-power microprocessors."[5][6]

Later that year he left to found P.A. Semi, a fabless semiconductor company that designed the PWRficient family of Power Architecture processors. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2006 for "Innovative design and implementation of high-performance, low-power microprocessors."[7] In 2008 P.A. Semi was sold to Apple Inc.

He received a Distinguished Alumni Award by University of Illinois in 2003,[8] and the College Of Engineering Alumni Honor Award from the University of Illinois in May 2009.[9]

Dobberpuhl retired from Apple near the end of 2009.[10] He holds 15 patents.[5]



  1. ^  
  2. ^ "2003 - Daniel Dobberpuhl". IEEE Donald O. Pederson Award in Solid-State Circuits Recipients biographies. IEEE. Retrieved July 2, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Network processor startup SiByte raises $40 million in third funding round". News release. May 16, 2000. Retrieved July 2, 2011. 
  4. ^ Loring Wirbel (November 6, 2000). "Broadcom acquires MIPS core provider SiByte". EE Times. Retrieved July 2, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "EDS Members Named Winners of the 2003 IEEE Technical Field Awards". EDS Newsletter (IEEE). April 2003. Retrieved July 2, 2011. 
  6. ^ "IEEE Donald O. Pederson Award in Solid-State Circuits Recipients". IEEE. Retrieved July 2, 2011. 
  7. ^ "P.A. Semi CEO Dobberpuhl Elected to the National Academy of Engineering". News release (Highland Capital Partners). February 16, 2006. 
  8. ^ "Distinguished Alumni Award (2003)". University of Illinois. 2003. Retrieved July 2, 2011. 
  9. ^ Tom Moone (May 20, 2009). "Alumnus Dobberpuhl receives College of Engineering Alumni Honor Award". University of Illinois. Retrieved July 2, 2011. 
  10. ^ Katie Marsal (March 13, 2010). "Former P.A. Semi chief leaves Apple for chip startup - report". Apple Insider. Retrieved July 2, 2011. 
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