Born 1916 - Died Nov 23 1995
Communication System Employing Pulse Code Modulation
Pulse Code Modulation
Patent Number(s) 2,801,281
Bernard Oliver, one of the most prolific and influential inventors of
his generation, helped give birth to the era of digital information
with his invention of "pulse code modulation" or PCM. This
allowed information of all kinds to be translated into the digital language
of binary code, then transmitted to receivers capable of manipulating
the information or restoring it to its original form. Today, PCM is
an integral part of much of the digital technology that defines the
Other highlights in Oliver's prolific career include his development
of early forms of radar, pioneering work in television technology, practical
handheld calculators, and visionary work using radio telescopes to search
space for signals from extraterrestrial civilizations.
In his later years, Oliver made large financial contributions to support
scientific research, higher education, and cultural institutions.
Born in Soquel, California, Oliver completed a B.A. in electrical engineering
at Stanford University when he was 19. A year later he received an M.S.
from Caltech, where he earned a Ph.D., graduating magna cum laude at
the age of 24. He earned a reputation as a brilliant inventor at Bell
Laboratories before creating the research and development department
at Hewlett Packard, where he remained until his retirement.