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Encyclopedia of Delay-Insensitive Systems (EDIS)

Dedicated to

Dr. Charles Edwin Molnar
14 March 1935 - Newark, New Jersey, USA
13 December 1996 - Sunnyvale, California, USA

The Encyclopedia of Delay-Insensitive Systems has been dedicated to Charles E. Molnar, better known to his colleagues and friends as Charlie.

From 1962 to 1965, Charlie worked as a researcher at the Lincoln Laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Together with Wesley A. Clark he led the development of the Laboratory Instrument Computer (LINC), which is considered the forerunner of the Personal Computer (PC). Charlie received his Ph.D. from MIT in 1965 for work on the mechanics of the inner ear and how it translates auditory signals into neural responses.

In 1965 Charlie established the (now-closed) Institute for Biomedical Computing (IBC) at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. From 1965 to 1995, he worked at IBC.

Charlie led the `Macromodular Computer Systems' project at IBC in the late 60s and early 70s [Clark67, Clark74, Molnar74]. These macromodular computer systems incorporated the ideas of delay-insensitive design. During this period Charlie and Tom Chaney discovered and investigated the metastability issues (glitch phenomena) in synchronization and arbiter circuits [Chaney73].

For several years, Charlie also was a `commuting' professor at the Department of Computer Science of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) on the invitation of Ivan Sutherland. Martin Rem from Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) met Charlie at Caltech and he brought the ideas of delay-insensitive design to Eindhoven. The subsequent cooperation between Charlie and the Martin Rem's VLSI group at TUE turned out to be longstanding and fruitful, influencing several dissertations at TUE focused on the design of (delay-insensitive) circuits [Snepscheut83, Udding84, Ebergen87, Berkel92, Schols92, Korver93, Verhoeff94, Peeters96]

From left to right: Charlie, Huub Schols, Tom Verhoeff, Wilbert Körver, Jan Tijmen Udding, Kees van Berkel, Jo Ebergen, Koos Verhoeff.
Photograph by Donna Molnar, May 1994.

In 1995, Charlie started working full time at Sun Microsystems Laboratories (SunLabs) in Mountain View, California, USA. He joined Ivan Sutherland's group, which works on advanced asynchronous circuits, refining the patented counterflow-pipeline processor architecture [Sproull94].

Charlie was a much-respected colleague and a close personal friend of mine. We discussed the possible futures of EDIS on several occasions and he was very supportive of its development.

Last modified at Tue Nov 10 13:18:10 1998
Encyclopedia of Delay-Insensitive Systems
Copyright © 1995-1998 Tom Verhoeff / Tom.Verhoeff@acm.org