George Smith and Willard Boyle invented the charge-coupled device
(CCD) while working at Bell Labs in 1969. Smith, working to improve
video telephone technology, and Boyle, charged with creating a
new semiconductor memory chip for computers, sketched out the
basic CCD in an hour or so. In less than a week, they had a working
CCD is a silicon-based integrated circuit that converts light
energy into an electronic charge. While not successful as a memory
device, the CCD was key to dramatic advances in digital imaging
technology. CCDs provide video imaging devices a wide range of
applications, including broadcasting, digital cameras, endoscopy,
desktop videoconferencing, fax machines, and bar code readers.
CCDs' sensitivity enables astronomers to study objects thousands
of times fainter than they could with photographic plates.
was born in White Plains, New York, attaining his B.S. at the
University of Pennsylvania in 1955 and his Ph.D. from the University
of Chicago in 1959. He joined Bell Labs in 1959, retiring in 1986.
He holds 30 patents and was awarded the IEEE Morris Liebman Award
in 1974 for his work on the CCD.
Vinton G. Cerf
Robert E. Kahn
Robert W. Gore
Richard M. Hoe
John H. Thomas