Electrical & Computer Engineering     |     Carnegie Mellon

Tuesday, March 12, 12:00-1:00 p.m. HH-1112

Ray Holt
Internet Marketing

Microprocessor Design and Development for the US Navy F14 Fighter Jet

The commercial microprocessor has been credited as "invented" by Intel Corp. with the introduction of the 4004 in 1972. However, quietly leading up to this development were many attempts to put more and more computer logic onto silicon chips. Most of these attempts were only paper designs. The F14 Fighter Jet Central Air Data Computer (CADC) was one attempt that accomplished its goal and pushed the technology envelope beyond what was expected in the late '60's. Not only did it put the first programmable central processor units onto large-scale silicon, it did it in a hostile military environment. The CADC had many design features including math co-processing, parallel processing, execution piplining, and built-in programmed self-test and redundancy, while yet accomplishing the rigorous requirements of controlling the F14 airplane during combat fighting. A difficult three-year development cycle resulted in the first “fly-by-wire” flight computer. Shrouded in secrecy for over 30 years, this accomplishment was not publicly known until 1998 at which time, at the request of Mr. Ray Holt, the US Navy allowed the documents into the public domain. Since then many industry designers have debated and argued that this was, in fact, the first microprocessor, several years before Intel's accomplishment.

Mr. Ray Holt, a 1968 graduate of California Polytechnical University, began his computer design career with the F14 CADC. As a microprocessor designer for American MicroSystem he helped develop microprocessors for calculators and many other commercial applications. He co-founded Microcomputer Associates, Inc. in 1974 and designed several early microcomputer systems including the JOLT and SYM as well as the first microprocessor controlled pin ball game. Mr. Holt inspired the first Radio Shack computer and also co-published the industry’s first publication, Microcomputer Digest. Mr. Holt continued his career as an Engineering Vice-President for Honeywell Corp, and since 1980, a software distributor, computer retailer, and systems integrator for his own company, Cornerstone Computers. Currently, Mr. Holt is heavily involved in Internet Marketing and Promotion. Mr. Holt has a B.S. degree in Electronic Engineering from Cal Poly - Pomona and a M.S. degree in Computer Science from Santa Clara University.