Open main menu

Mark A. Horowitz is the Yahoo! Founders Professor in the School of Engineering at Stanford University and holds a joint appointment in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department. He is a co-founder of Rambus Inc., now a technology licensing company.

Mark Horowitz
Born(1957-04-06)April 6, 1957
Alma materMassachusetts Institute of Technology
Stanford University
Known forProcessors, VLSI design, high-speed links, light-field photography
AwardsIEEE Donald O. Pederson Award in Solid-State Circuits; National Academy of Engineering member; American Academy of Arts and Sciences Fellow
Scientific career
FieldsElectrical Engineering, Computer Science
InstitutionsStanford University
ThesisTiming Models for MOS Circuits
Doctoral advisorRobert Dutton



Horowitz received bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1978. After graduating, he moved to Silicon Valley to work at Signetics, one of the early integrated circuits companies. After working for a year, he entered Stanford, and worked on CAD tools for very-large-scale integration (VLSI) design.[1] His research at Stanford included some of the earliest work on extracting the resistance of integrated circuit wires,[2] and estimating the delay of MOS transistor circuits.[3] He was advised at Stanford by Robert Dutton and graduated with a Ph.D. in electrical engineering in 1984.[4]

Academic careerEdit

In 1984, Horowitz joined the Stanford faculty. At Stanford his research focused on VLSI circuits[4] and he led a number of early RISC processor designs, including MIPS-X.[5] His research has been in the fields of electrical engineering, computer science, and applying engineering tools to biology. He has worked on RISC processors, multiprocessor designs, low-power circuits, high-speed links, computational photography, and applying engineering to biology.[6][7]

In the 2000s he teamed up with Marc Levoy to work on computational photography, research which explored how to use computation to create better pictures, often by using data from multiple sensors. This research also explored light-field photography, which captured enough information to allow a computer to reconstruct the view to an arbitrary viewpoint.[8] The need to capture light-fields to process led to the creation of the Stanford Camera Array, a system which could synchronize and collect images from 100 image sensors,[9] as well as work that eventually led to the Lytro camera.[10]

In 2006, Horowitz received the IEEE Donald O. Pederson Award in Solid-State Circuits "for pioneering contributions to the design of high-performance digital integrated circuits and systems".[11] In 2007, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering for his "leadership in high-bandwidth memory-interface technology and in scalable cache-coherent multiprocessor architectures."[4] In 2008, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.[6] At the 2014 International Solid-State Circuits Conference, he presented his studies on the outlook for the semiconductor industry in Computing's Energy Problem (And What We Can Do About It).[12]


In 1990 Horowitz took a leave of absence from Stanford to work with Mike Farmwald on a new high-bandwidth DRAM design which, in April of that year, led to the formation of Rambus Inc., a company specializing in high-bandwidth memory technology. After working at Rambus for a year, he returned to Stanford and started a research program in high-speed input/output.[6] Video game machines were early adopters of this technology, with Nintendo 64 and PlayStation 2 the first two mass-produced products to use the company's DRAMs. Intel later adopted the company's RDRAM processor interface, and Rambus memory chips were used in PCs in the late 1990s.[4][12][13] Horowitz returned briefly to Rambus in 2005 to help start a research organization at the company and left the board of directors in 2011.[14]

Awards and honorsEdit



  • J. Acken, A. Agarwal, G. Gulak, M. Horowitz, S. McFarling, S. Richardson, A. Salz, R. Simoni, D. Stark, and S. Tjiang, The MIPS-X RISC Microprocessor. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston, MA, 1989. Foreword by J.L. Hennessy.
  • S. Bell, J. Pu, J. Hagerty, M. Horowitz, Compiling Algorithm for Heterogeneous Systems, Morgan & Claypool Publishers, 2018.

Book ChaptersEdit

  • Multithreaded Computer Architectures, chapter 8 – "Architectural and Implementation Tradeoffs in the Design of Multiple-Context Processors", Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1994.
  • Design of High-Performance Microprocessor Circuits, "High-Speed Electrical Signaling", 2001.
  • Power Aware Design Methodologies, chapter 8 – "Energy-Efficient Design of High-Speed Links", Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2002.
  • Computational Imaging and Vision, Chapter 7 – "Synthetic Aperture Focusing using Dense Camera Arrays", Volume 35, 2007, pp. 159–172.
  • Methods in Enzymology, Chapter 13 – "Alignment of Cryo-Electron Tomography Datasets", Elsevier, 2010, pp. 343–367.


  1. ^ Horowitz, Mark (Summer 2016). "The Art of Breaking and Making". IEEE Solid-State Circuits Magazine: 14–30. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  2. ^ "Resistance Extraction from Mask Layout Data". IEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design. CAD-2 (3): 145–150. July 1983.
  3. ^ "Signal Delay in RC Tree Networks". IEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design. CAD-2 (3): 202–211. July 1983.
  4. ^ a b c d e Kanakia, Rahul (12 Feb 2007). "Four professors elected to National Academy of Engineering".
  5. ^ "Architectural Tradeoffs in the Design of MIPS-X". 4th International Symposium on Computer Architecture: 300–308. June 1987. CiteSeerX
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Seven university scholars elected fellows of eminent learned society". 30 April 2008.
  7. ^ Fuller, Samuel (2011). The Future of Computing Performance: Game Over or Next Level?. Washington, DC: National Academies Press. p. 164. ISBN 9780309159517.
  8. ^ Ho, Ron (5 September 2016). "Enabling the Hardware for Computational Photography: Mark Horowitz Turned Ideas into Working Hardware Systems". IEEE Solid-State Circuits Magazine. 8 (3).
  9. ^ "The Stanford Multi-Camera Array". Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  10. ^ Pierce, David (22 April 2014). "Lytro changed photography. Now can it get anyone to care?". The Verge.
  11. ^ "IEEE Donald O. Pederson Award in Solid-State Circuits Recipients, 2006 – Mark A. Horowitz". IEEE. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  12. ^ a b Handy, Jim (11 Feb 2014). "Rambus Founder Opines on Semiconductor Industry's Future".
  13. ^ Manners, David (10 July 2017). "Rambus reported to be up for sale". Electronics
  14. ^ Neal, Dave (8 Dec 2011). "Mark Horowitz is leaving Rambus". The Inquirer.
  15. ^ "University Researcher Award". Retrieved 17 July 2018.

External linksEdit