co-inventor of Ethernet

In the recent news, the pioneering Xerox PARC computer researcher David Boggs has passed away at 71, according to reports. He was best known as the co-inventor of the Ethernet PC connection standard employed to link PCs near other computers, printers, and the internet — over both wired and wireless connections. 


David Boggs Was the Co-Inventor of Ethernet Connection


The Xerox PARC research lab in Palo Alto devised much of the PC tech we tech for granted today such as the graphic user interface, mouse, and word processor. The co-inventor of Ethernet, David Boggs joined the team in 1973 and began working with fellow researcher Bob Metcalfe on a system to send information to and from the lab’s computer. In almost two years, David Boggs and his partners had developed the first version of Ethernet, a link that could transmit data at 2.94 Mbps over a coaxial cable. 


It borrowed in part from a wireless networking system devised at the University of Hawaii called ALOHAnet, tapping into David Boggs’ affection for HAM radio. “David Boggs was the perfect partner for me,” Metcalfe told the NYT. “I was more of a concept artist, and he was a build-the-hardware-in-the-back-room engineer.” At this moment, a networking system named Arpanet already existed but was developed for connections over longer distances. Ethernet beat out contesting technologies for near-proximity connections thanks to its innovative packet technology. 


This new development enabled data to be sent over wires or wirelessly, and it would continue to work even if some packets were lost. Metcalfe eventually founded the Ethernet networking giant 3Com, while the co-inventor of Ethernet stayed at PARC as a researcher. He later moved to mini-computer giant DEC, then started an Ethernet company called LAN Media.


Ethernet Has Not Been Replaced in the Last 50 Years


Ethernet became the usual protocol for wired devices in the ’80s and is the foundational tech used for WiFi that first proliferated in the 1990s. Nearly 50 years later, it has never been replaced and is ubiquitous in nearly all digital devices.  


Read more: Charles Geschke: Co-founder of Adobe and co-inventor of PDF, dies at 81

Source: Engadget


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