The Phil Kaufman Award is jointly sponsored by the ESD-Alliance and the IEEE Council on Electronic Design Automation and honors an individual who has had a demonstrable impact on the field of electronic design through contributions in Electronic Design Automation (EDA). The award was established as a tribute to Phil Kaufman, the late industry pioneer who turned innovative technologies into commercial businesses that have benefited electronic designers. Additional information can be found on the ESD-Alliance website.
Phil Kaufman received his BSEE (1964) and MSEE (1966) from the University of Michigan. After many years as a design engineer at Interstate Electronics and Computer Automation, Phil joined Intel's microprocessor component group in 1976, where he became a design manager.
The complexity of microprocessor chips was increasing rapidly, with corresponding increases in design time. In 1982, he joined Silicon Compiler Systems as chairman and CEO. SCS was an early provider of high-level EDA tools to speed the design of complex ICs. The tools were adopted by a number of system and IC design companies.
As the complexity of ICs increased, so did the issue of verifying the designs. In 1988, Phil joined Quickturn Design Systems, where he became CEO. An early provider of emulation systems used to speed the verification of complex chips, Quickturn's systems enabled engineers to find and fix bugs much faster, thus speeding the development of complex chips. His former employer, Intel, was among the many companies using Quickturn's systems.
Phil's interest in electronics began with his childhood interest in electric trains, followed by amateur radio, then personal computers.
Phil died of a heart attack during a business trip in Japan on July 17, 1992. The EDA Consortium founded the Phil Kaufman Award in 1994 to honor his memory and contributions to the electronic design industry.