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Fascinating facts about Robert H. Dennard inventor of Dynamic Random Access Memory in 1967. ROBERT DENNARD
Robert Heath Dennard invented the one-transistor
dynamic random access memory DRAM in 1967. It has become the standard for the RAM industry and enabled the microcomputer revolution because prior to his invention, computers were too large and heavy to be installed in homes or placed on desktops. Before the early 1970s, computers required separate storage space and dedicated air conditioning units to keep them cool.
Inventor: Robert Heath Dennard
Robert Heath Dennard photo courtesy The Tech Museum of Innovation
Criteria: First to invent. First to patent.
Birth: September 5, 1932 in Terrell, Texas
Nationality: American
Invention: dynamic random access memory DRAM in 1967
DRAM photo courtesy Kingston Technology
Function: noun / most often called RAM
Definition: A computer memory that provides the main internal storage available to the user for programs and data. A breakthrough that transformed the microelectronics industry in the early 1970s and remains the most popular form of computer memory today.
Patent:  3,387,286 (US) issued June 4, 1968
1958 Dennard begins his first job at IBM
1967 Invents one-transistor dynamic random access memory (DRAM)
1968 U.S. patent issued
1970 The first commercial DRAM chips were introduced
1974  “Design of Ion-Implanted MOSFETs with Very Small Physical Dimensions,” published
1988 Awarded National Medal of Technology from President Ronald Reagan

1997 Induction into the National Inventors Hall of Fame
2005 Lemelson Lifetime Achievement Award presented to Robert Dennard
CAPS: Dennard, Robert Dennard, Robert Heath Dennard, DRAM, RAM, IBM, ARY, random access memory, dynamic random access memory, ram, dram, field-effect transistor memory, one-transistor dram, SIP, history, biography, inventor, invention
The Story: 


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Inventor Receives the 2005 Lemelson Lifetime Achievement Award
Robert Dennard received the award for his invention, dynamic random access memory (DRAM), a breakthrough that transformed the microelectronics industry in the early 1970s and remains the most popular form of computer memory today.
Invention Dimension - Inventor of the Week
Celebrates inventor/innovator role models through outreach activities and annual awards to inspire a new generation of American scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs.
National Inventors Hall of Fame
The National Inventors Hall of Fame™ honors the women and men responsible for the great technological advances that make human, social and economic progress possible..
IBM Fellow
Robert Dennard was a young Texas-bred scientist who thought he knew where he was headed when he arrived at IBM in 1958. He figured he'd "go to IBM and learn a lot of good stuff, and then maybe go out to a smaller company and work my way up. I figured I'd spend about three years." A short chuckle sets up the obvious punch line: "That was 38 years ago."
He Invented Modern Computer Memory
In 1966, Robert Dennard decided to find a way to improve computer memory, and he succeeded. His invention revolutionized the computer industry.
Legacies of Robert H. Dennard
In his remarkable career at IBM, Robert H. Dennard has played a key role in two of the most groundbreaking innovations of the microelectronics industry.

“I’m often asked if I could foresee how important (DRAM) would become. I knew it was going to be a big thing, but I didn’t know it would grow to have the wide impact that it has today.” - Robert Dennard


  • Robert Dennard has been issued 35 U.S. patents, and has 90 published technical papers or articles.
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Reference Sources in BOLD Type. This page revised July 25, 2006.

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