Bob Metcalfe, a co-inventor of Ethernet, receives the Turing Award, known as the “Nobel Prize of computing.”
Even if you are not directly connecting an Ethernet connection to the wall to access the internet, you are still using that technology somewhere down the line. Bob Metcalfe and the late David Boggs are to be credited for that. Together, the two created Ethernet at Xerox’s renowned Palo Alto Research Institute (better known as Xerox PARC), paving the way for a revolution in networking. The Association for computers Machinery (ACM) A.M. Turing Award, referred to as the “Nobel Prize of computing,” was given to Metcalfe yesterday.
That award, which is now valued at $1 million thanks to funding from Google, is just another high point in Metcalfe’s illustrious career. He started 3com, a networking equipment business that popularised Ethernet, after leaving Xerox PARC. On May 22, 2023, Ethernet will celebrate 50, and Metcalfe warned the University of Texas, where he is currently a professor emeritus, that accepting an award for its invention would be risky. “Over the course of Ethernet’s 50-year history, hundreds of people have staked a claim to invention. Please join me in thanking these people.
Although it is well-known for being a cable technology, Metcalfe told the New York Times that his original vision was for it to resemble Wi-Fi more. He remarked, “We wanted to make it wireless. We couldn’t, however, have no wiring. It would have been too expensive and sluggish.