Technical History

Table Of Contents

Introduction
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
International Business Machines
Texas Instruments
Digital Equipment Corporation
Spice (Simulation Program with Integrated Circuit Emphasis)

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Introduction

Steve Greenberg has assembled this page to describe some of the history of his career in the semiconductor and electronic design automation industry. Some references even go back to his days at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

To suggest additions or corrections for this page send email to him by clicking on his highlighted name above.

This page was last updated on October 25, 2011 22:58:49 EDT (GMT-0400).

This page has been read 3140 times from 1752 internet addresses.

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Steve attended MIT from September 1961 to August 1966. He received a BS degree in Electrical Engineering.

IBM 709 Computer
This is the type of computer that was avaliable to be used by students in computer courses when Steve arrived at MIT. It was either one like this or one of several upgrades, IBM 7090 and IBM 7094, that Steve used in his first computer course freshman year. Of course he just submitted decks of computer cards at the front desk. He picked up the printout of the results there. He never got to touch the computer itself. He probably did get at least one tour of the room that held the computer. IBM History page for 1957 mentions the introduction of the 709. The IBM 7090 was introduced in 1958
IBM 1401 Computer
Steve was very unsure of himself when he had to write his first computer program. His Dad arranged a visit to a computer programmer friend at the IRS in Andover, Massachusetts. There he got to see the IBM 1401 computer. Seeing the lights flash didn't really help all that much. For more information on the 1401, go to IBM's History site.
DEC PDP-1 Computer
Steve briefly tried to use a computer like this at MIT around 1965. He only had 30 minutes scheduled. He mistook an o(oh) for a 0(zero) in the login instructions and never got passed that point.

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International Business Machines

Steve worked the evening shift at the local IBM timesharing bureau in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania while he was stationed at the U.S. Army's Frankford Arsenal in Philadelphia.

IBM 704 Computer
Steve thinks it was an IBM 704 (or was it 740 or 7040) that was the main focus of his job. Mainly, he just had to be sure that the computer was up and running and available for time sharing use by external customers. If it stopped, he had to get it started again. When he started on the job, he used to just sit around listening to a computer terminal typing gibberish as a sign the machine was running. At the end of the shift, he ran some accounting software to keep track of customers' usage of the computer.

Soon he decided that the terminal could be put to better use than as just an expensive alarm. He started to use the terminal to learn about IBM's Electronic Circuit Analysis Program (ECAP). He found and fixed a serious bug in the program. This was the foundation of more than half of his later career. He was involved with circuit simulation at Texas Instruments, Digital Equipment Corporation, Gateway Design Automation/Cadence Design Systems, and Analogy, Inc.

IBM System/360 Computer
In the same IBM computer room was the newer IBM System/360. Steve did not have too much involvement with that machine at the time. He later spent a few years at Texas Instruments and more at RCA programming various models of the System/360 and System/370.

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Texas Instruments

After his stint in the U.S. Army, Steve worked for Texas Instruments in Dallas Texas.

Univac 1105 Computer
TI rented time on Univac computers from University Computing Company (UCC). This is the first computer that Steve worked on at TI. Or was it the 1107 or the 1108?

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Spice (Simulation Program with Integrated Circuit Emphasis)

The SPICE program played a very significant part in Steve Greenberg's technical career.

He helped introduce SPICE to Texas Instruments in the early 1970s. If I had to guess, I would think it was very soon after 1971. He and Dick Smith went to visit Dick's thesis advisor at the University of California to see what they were doing in the realm of circuit simulation. The advisor was Don Pederson.

The name most linked with the invention of SPICE is Dr. Laurence W. Nagel. He has written an article The Origins of SPICE. In this article you will see how Larry Nagel and Don Pederson were connected.

The experience of working on support and further devlopment of SPICE at Texas Instruments, then led to Steve's work at RCA in Somerville, New Jersey, Digital Equipment Corporation in Massachusetts, Gateway Design Automation and Cadence Design Systems in Massachusetts, and Analogy, Inc. in Beaverton, Oregon. It wasn't until he went to Synopsys and Mentor Graphics that his work had very little to do with SPICE-like circuit simulation.

Steve and Gabriel Bischoff are coinventors of United States Patent 5157778, Method and apparatus for circuit simulation using parallel processors including memory arrangements and matrix decomposition synchronization. This patent is an extension of circuit simulation techniques to take advantage of parallel processing computers. Digital Equipment Corporation's version of SPICE was the vehicle upon which these techniques were demonstrated. Steve was the one who brought SPICE into Digital Equipment Corporation.

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Digital Equipment Corporation

Steve worked at Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) from early 1976 to late 1988. He worked in the same group all that time although it changed its name and location several times.

He started out in the Microproducts Group which eventually became the Semiconductor Engineering Group.

DECconnection
A premier interactive networking organization for former Digital Equipment Corporation employees
DECWORLD 2001
Where Digital Equipment Corporation alumni and others explored the four decades of DEC's extraordinary success that changed the world
PDP-10 Computer
When he joined Digital in 1976, this is the type of computer that he used. At one point, he had a DECWriter terminal at home like the one pictured in the video. He thinks the terminal that he had was an LA100 model.
VAX 11/780
Of course, as soon as the VAX line became available his group switched to VAX and VMS. Eventually they each had a microVAX in their office.

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