Lee Boysel came back
to Michigan to receive the 2007 ECE Alumni Merit Award from the College of
Engineering. While here, he agreed to give a talk about his entrepreneurial
experiences starting a semiconductor firm in California - before there was a
Silicon Valley. His groundbreaking work laid the foundation for the early
Students and faculty alike were captivated by Mr.
Boysel’s talk, which was presented with great clarity and conviction, while
revealing a lifelong joy for the research itself, as well as for the
adventure of being an entrepreneur.
His talk has been captured on
video, or you may choose to view the
Lee L. Boysel is a private investor based in San Francisco. For the past
25 years, he has been an advisor to, invested directly in, and served on the
boards of a number of high-tech startups.
In earlier years, Mr. Boysel served as founder, president, CEO, and
chairman of the board of Four Phase Systems, Inc., of Cupertino, California.
The company’s computers were used to distribute mainframe power to remote
user locations and featured the first semiconductor memory and first LSI
CPU. Both of these innovations were forerunners of today’s microprocessor
chip technology. Four Phase was founded 1968 in a garage and grew into a
major corporation (100% on the Fortune 1000) before being acquired by
Motorola in 1982.
From 1963-68, Mr. Boysel worked for IBM, Fairchild, and McDonnell
Aerospace where he engaged in pioneering work applying MOS/LSI semiconductor
technology to computers and electronic systems. He is noted for the design
and fabrication of the semiconductor industry’s first A/D chips, the first
static and dynamic MOS ROM, the first parallel ALU, the first DRAM, and the
first single-chip CPU microprocessor.
An industry leader, Mr. Boysel developed concepts and published first
articles on computer architectures, including MOS ROM CPU microcode control,
direct video display of RAM information and single bi-directional bus
structures – all staples of today’s microprocessor designs.
Mr. Boysel earned both bachelor and master of science degrees in
electrical engineering from the University of Michigan.