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Richard Francis Lyon

Richard Francis Lyon

American inventor
Richard Francis Lyon
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American inventor
Is Engineer Computer scientist
From United States of America
Type Engineering Technology Science
Gender male
Peoplepill ID richard-francis-lyon
The details


Richard Francis Lyon (born 1952) is an American inventor, scientist, and engineer, who invented the optical mouse. He has worked in many aspects of signal processing and was a co-founder of Foveon Inc., a digital camera and image sensor company.


Lyon grew up in El Paso, Texas, one of nine children. He received a B.S. from Caltech in 1974 and an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University in 1975.

Lyon has worked at a number of Silicon Valley companies, including Stanford Telecommunications, Xerox, Schlumberger, Apple, Foveon, and Google.

Lyon is married to Margaret Asprey; they have two children.

Inventions and research

In 1981, Lyon built the first optical mouse, at Xerox, for which he was awarded two U.S. patents, now expired.

He also did pioneering work in the following areas:

  • GPS: Lyon designed early Global Positioning System test transmitters.
  • Ethernet hardware: Lyon invented the first single-chip Ethernet device.
  • Digital memory: Lyon did early work on static CMOS memory and designed the most efficient large CMOS address decoder.
  • Auditory processing: Lyon invented a cochlear model that is used as the basis of much auditory research today.
  • Digital color photography: Lyon invented optical and integrated-circuit techniques that allow digital cameras to be denser and more accurate.
  • Richard F. Lyon, "The Optical Mouse, and an Architectural Methodology for Smart Digital Sensors", Invited Paper, CMU Conference on VLSI Systems and Computations, Pittsburgh (Kung, Sproull, and Steele, editors), Computer Science Press, October 1981.
  • U.S. Patent 4,521,772: Lyon, "Cursor Control Device", Jun. 4, 1985.
  • U.S. Patent 4,521,773: Lyon, "Imaging Array", Jun. 4, 1985.
  • Richard F. Lyon and James J. Spilker, Jr., "Multisatellite Signal Simulators for the Global Positioning System", National Telecommunications conference, Dallas, Texas, December 1976.
  • U.S. Patent 4,494,021: Bell, Lyon, and Borriello, "Self-calibrated Clock and Timing Signal Generator for MOS/VLSI Circuitry", Jan. 15, 1985.
  • U.S. Patent 4,513,427: Borriello, Lyon, and Bell, "Data and Clock Recovery System for Data Communication Controller", Apr. 23, 1985.
  • U.S. Patent 4,796,227: Lyon and Schediwy, "Computer Memory System", Jan. 3, 1989.
  • Ivan Sutherland, Bob Sproull, and David Harris (1999). Logical Effort: Designing Fast CMOS Circuits. Morgan Kaufmann. ISBN 1-55860-557-6. 
  • Richard F. Lyon, "A Computational Model of Filtering, Detection, and Compression in the Cochlea", Proceedings IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing, Paris, May 1982.
  • U.S. Patent 6,078,429: Lyon, "Color Separating Prism Having Violet Light Component in Red Channel", Jun. 20, 2000.

Awards and recognition

  • Lyon was elected as an IEEE Fellow in 2003 "for contributions to VLSI signal processing, models of hearing, handwriting recognition, and electronic color photography."
  • In 2005, Lyon was awarded the Progress Medal of the Royal Photographic Society, along with Carver Mead and Richard B. Merrill of Foveon, for the development of the Foveon X3 sensor.
  • In 2010 he was named a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery "for contributions to machine perception and for the invention of the optical mouse."
  • Lyon is one of the persons featured in George Gilder's book, The Silicon Eye.

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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