Inventors

JAMES L. MADDOX

Jim Maddox was Director of Engineering for Fifth Generation Computer Corporation from December 1993 through December 1999. He now serves as Emeritus Director of Engineering.

During his time at FifthGen, Jim designed the FGC MP-7 Multiprocessor Computer platform. In 1999, he was awarded a patent for a parallel computing system.

Mr. Maddox has been a leader in the fields of system engineering and computer design since the 1950's when he was Chief Engineer at the Philco Corporation. In 1954, he designed, implemented, and delivered the first solid state Central Processing Unit and was awarded a patent for this work. As Chief Engineer at Philco, he was responsible for the Philco 2000 computer models 210, 211, and 212. The principal application of these computers was nuclear design. The model 212 remained the highest performing scientific computer in the industry for a period of five years. He later became Manager of System Engineering for the RCA Corporation and then, Vice President of Computer Consoles, Inc., where he designed and developed the first successful computerized Directory Assistance System for the telephone industry. The success of this product gave Computer Consoles, Inc. a major portion of this market and moved it to a position of prominence.

We have included below a few excerpts from his own description of his early engineering design activities at the Philco Corporation in the emerging field of computers, beginning in 1953.

“I joined Philco in the spring of 1953 and was assigned to the Government and Industrial Division in Philadelphia, Pa. Shortly after accomplishing some minor assignments I was asked to evaluate the Norden Bomb and Navigation System as used by the US in World War II, and suggest some possible improvements. The Norden system used equipment that had evolved over a period of time from 1940 to 1945. It was last implemented with an electro mechanical computer with major use of ball-disk integrators. Its major limitation was finding sufficient highly skilled machinists to handle the volume of units that might be needed in case of another large scale war and also the reliability and ability to withstand stress with a vacuum tube implementation would prove to be not acceptable."

“Soon after I started at Philco a threesome from Bell Laboratories, William Shockley, John Bardeen, and Walter Braittan gave a talk at the Engineers Club in Philadelphia describing their development of the transistor. I was greatly impressed with the possibilities. So was Bob Noyce of the Lansdale Division of Philco who started a program to start producing some. My officemate Ralph Brown began experimenting with them and invented the Direct Coupled circuit which was ideal for implementing logic circuits. I decided on a parallel and asynchronous structure based on the Institute for Advanced Study design. The project went ahead with the proper interface with the airplane and a small magnetic disk to store the programming and temporary results. The equipment was stored in a metal container that was the same size as the mechanical model we had received. The system was delivered to the Navy, installed and flight tested.“

Note: Robert Noyce, who headed up Philco’s transistor development effort, left to join Fairchild Semiconductor in California. Later, he left Fairchild to found the Intel Corporation along with Gordon Moore and Andy Grove.

 “Representatives from the National Security Agency visited us and expressed interest in our transistor computer, and provided a specification of each of the functions they required. I studied their specifications and met with them to review precisely each of the functions required, some of which were unique to NSA’s needs. They invited me to their facility to meet John Eakus who asked me to program a number of examples on their current computer to further test my understanding. I made a perfect score and they were ready to go ahead with the project. We named it the Transac S-1000 (SOLO), and delivered it along with a Programmer’s manual in November of 1957."

Note: The NSA/SOLO computer was acknowledged to be the “first general-purpose transistorized computer to operate in the United States.” A History of Modern Computing, by Paul E. Ceruzzi, The MIT Press 1998, p. 65.

Jim Maddox graduated from Auburn University with a BEE (Electronics) and an MS in Mathematics. He is a Senior Member of the IEEE.

Patents and Licensing

US Patent 6,000,024

James Maddox, the inventor of the Company's US Patent, 6,000,024 (the "024 Patent"), created a unique and novel “Parallel Computing System.”  Mr. Maddox began work on the system in 1993 in the middle of a distinguished career, serving as Director of Engineering for the Company from December 1993 through December 1999.  Mr. Maddox has been a leader in the fields of system engineering and computer design since the 1950's when he was Chief Engineer at the Philco Corporation.  In 1954, he designed, implemented, and delivered the first solid state central processing unit and was awarded a patent for this work.  As Chief Engineer at Philco, Mr. Maddox was responsible for the Philco 2000 computer models 210, 211, and 212. The principal application of these computers was nuclear design. The model 212 remained the highest performing scientific computer in the industry for a period of five years. He now serves as emeritus Director of Engineering for the Company.

The 024 Patent is a “binary tree computer system" which includes a microprocessor and memory at each node.  A bus controller, with a buffered interface, is included at each node to perform certain functions, which frees up the microprocessor for computing.  The system is massively scalable from 3 nodes to millions of nodes.  A copy of the complete patent documents are available from the Company upon request.  Copies may also be obtained from the US Patent and Trademark Office via their website at www.uspto.gov. To locate the Company's patent, search by the patent number: 6,000,024. The 024 Patent expires in 2017.

In late 2007, the Company was informed by the European Patent Examiner that the invention claimed in the Company’s European patent application exhibited the requisite “inventive step.”

The Company also owns and is the assignee of two other patents, U.S. Patent No. 4,860,021 and 4,843,540, which expired in 2006.

 

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