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Bob Rau Dies: Pioneer in Field of VLIW Computing


PALO ALTO, Calif., Dec. 17, 2002

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HP (NYSE:HPQ) today announced that Bob Rau, an HP Fellow, died Tuesday, Dec. 10, at his home in Los Altos, Calif., after a year-long struggle with cancer. Private services have been held.

Dr. Rau, 51, was widely recognized as an expert in the field of VLIW (Very Long Instruction Word) computing, which is the basis of today's Itanium processor family. Itanium was a joint development effort by HP and Intel.

Many of the central architectural and compiler ideas in the VLIW and EPIC (Explicitly Parallel Instruction Computing) style of computing were conceived of and developed by Rau. In 1984, before joining HP, he co-founded Cydrome Inc. and was the chief architect of the Cydra 5 mini-supercomputer, one of the first commercial VLIW products.

Earlier this year, his life-long achievements were recognized by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the IEEE Computer Society which presented him the prestigious Eckert-Mauchly Award. Most recently, he was named an ACM Fellow.

"The world will remember Bob for his profound technical contributions," said Dick Lampman, senior vice president, research, and director, HP Labs. "Those of us fortunate enough to have known and worked with him will also remember his intense intellectual curiosity, his unflagging optimism and his deep humanity."

On joining HP in 1989, Rau started HP Lab's research program in VLIW and instruction-level parallel processing. His most recent position was director of the Compiler and Architecture Research (CAR) program. Through 1998, CAR developed the advanced compiler technology for EPIC. The resulting research compiler, Elcor, has been released to the research community as part of the Trimaran research infrastructure.

Since 1995, CAR has been working on the PICO (Program In, Chip Out) project, whose goal is to develop the capability to take an embedded application and to automatically design highly customized computing hardware that is specific to that application, as well as any compiler that might be needed.

Rau is also a Fellow of the IEEE. He has taught at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and was an adjunct professor while working at HP. He has been a consulting professor at Stanford University. He has 15 patents and numerous research publications in the areas of VLIW, EPIC, high-performance computing and automated computer system design. He has also co-edited a book on instruction-level parallelism.

Rau received his bachelor of technology degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India, and his masters and doctoral degrees from Stanford University, all in electrical engineering.

Friends and colleagues wishing to make a donation in his memory are asked to contribute to their favorite environmental fund.

About HP

HP is a leading global provider of products, technologies, solutions and services to consumers and businesses. The company's offerings span IT infrastructure, personal computing and access devices, global services and imaging and printing. HP completed its merger transaction involving Compaq Computer Corporation on May 3, 2002. More information about HP is available at http://www.hp.com/.

Editorial Contact:  Dave Berman, +1 650 857 7277   dave_berman@hp.com


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