Broadening Research

With Uncapher’s encouragement, Cohen also created a low-cost, small-volume system for silicon chip prototyping and production. Called Metal Oxide Semiconductor Implementation Service (MOSIS), the service combines multiple customers’ jobs into shared-project wafers – essentially, batch processing of chip designs – that greatly reduce each participant’s manufacturing costs. Since 1981, MOSIS has generated more than 50,000 chip designs for businesses, government agencies and universities worldwide.

Uncapher left ISI in 1987 for the Corporation for National Research Initiatives, a technology research organization he launched with Internet founding fathers Robert E. Kahn and Vinton Cerf. Uncapher’s original contact, Bekey – by then chairing USC’s Computer Science department – led a search committee charged with filling the executive director’s outsize shoes. In 1988, the team succeeded in recruiting Herbert Schorr, a Systems Vice President for IBM Research and accomplished scientist in his own right.

Schorr had led IBM’s artificial intelligence and image processing development, among other achievements. He also had greatly advanced Reduced Instruction Set Computing (RISC), which edits base computing functions to boost processing speed dramatically.

Heightening Impact ›