Tops in IT: President’s award goes to Italian scientist
Italian physicist and electrical engineer Dr. Federico Faggin, widely known for designing the first commercial microprocessor, is on a visit to Armenia to receive the Global Award of the President of the Republic of Armenia for Outstanding Contribution to Humanity through IT 2012 (Global IT Award 2012).
The award was created in 2009 by Synopsis Armenia with financial support of VivaCell-MTS (22 million drams, $58,000) and, as the organizers say, “is an excellent tool for positioning Armenia on the world map as a country rating high in the sphere of high-tech”.
The Global IT Award annually honors an individual who has made extraordinary contributions to humanity through advancing the world of IT. It highlights Armenia on the world IT map as a growing high-tech destination. Dr. Faggin, President Emeritus of Synaptics, is the third Global IT Award Laureate. Previous laureates were retired CEO/Chairman of the board of Intel Corporation Craig Barrett and co-founder of Apple Computer Inc. Steve Wozniak, received the Global IT Award from the RA President Serzh Sargsyan in 2010 and 2011 respectively.
“We see that Armenia has a huge unrealized potential for national achievements in the sphere of high technologies, and for the economic growth, as its outcome,” noted VivaCell-MTS General Manager Ralph Yirikian during the meeting hosted at his company.
Hovik Musaelyan, chairman of Global IT Award’s Executive Board, speaking about the importance of Faggin’s visit, expressed confidence that a few years later the award-winners will improve Armenia’s image as a country promoting knowledge and intellectual development.
“I am certain that years later we will record that as a result of the Award, the brightest and the most influential people from academic and business communities came to Armenia, bringing with them a modern culture of high tech, raising our country’s reputation and recognition, as a country relying on knowledge and intellect,” said Musaelyan.
The 71-year-old scientist was also granted the title of an Honorary Doctor of Armenia’s State Engineering University on Thursday. As part of his visit the “father of microprocessors” will meet government officials and IT experts, university professors and students.
One of the legends of the Silicon Valley, Faggin, led the design group and development project of the ever first microprocessor in the 1970s, also while working at Intel Corporation supervised the creation of the first 8-bit microprocessor (Intel 8080).
In 1986, Faggin co-founded Synaptics, which created the world’s first single-chip optical character recognizer and the Synaptics Touchpad now widely used in laptops and cell phones. Faggin is chairman emeritus of Synaptics and president of “Federico and Elvia Faggin Foundation” for the study of consciousness.
The Awarding Program is implemented by the Award Committee and the international Selection Panel appointed by the President of Armenia. The Award consists of a gold and diamond medal, diploma and trophy evoking Armenia and high tech.