Inventor Robert H. Dennard was born September 5, 1932, in Terrell, Texas. An engineer, Dennard invented the one-transistor cell for dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) and developed scaling principles that led to improvements in the performance of mini integrated circuits. These innovations spurred three decades of growth in the computer industry.
Dennard studied electrical engineering at Southern Methodist University in Dallas and received a PhD from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh in 1958. He joined International Business Machines (IBM) the same year. At IBM, he worked on memory and logic circuits, data communication, and microelectronics.
The DRAM contained only one transistor, which was a major improvement over other types of computer memory. Dennard received a patent for the DRAM in 1968, one of four dozen patents earned during his 50-year career.
Dennard received the National Medal of Technology and Invention in 1988 and joined the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1997. He lives in Yorktown Heights, New York, where he continues leading research in microelectronics.