Mr. Charles P. Thacker
Mr. Charles P. Thacker Draper Prize
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  • Draper
Charles Stark Draper Prize for Engineering
Go To Award

Responsible for engineering the hardware for Alto, Mr. Charles P. Thacker wrote much of its microcode and can be credited, together with Butler Lampson, for the superb economy of the Alto’s design. Constructing the first batch of Altos himself, Thacker oversaw production for the rest, as well as devising its packaging.

In 1983, Thacker was a founder of the Systems Research Center at DEC, and in 1997, he joined Microsoft Research to help establish the Microsoft lab in the United Kingdom. He joined Microsoft’s Emerging Technology Group as Distinguished Engineer in 1999. Thacker has led teams that have designed a number of innovative networks and computer systems over the years, including the first multiprocessor personal workstation, the first system to employ the DEC Alpha chip, the Autonet, and AN2 local area networks, and the Microsoft Tablet PC.

Widely recognized for his contributions to the industry, Mr. Charles Thacker was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, is a distinguished alumnus of the Computer Science Department at the University of California, is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, a fellow of the ACM, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

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  • Draper
  • 2004
  • Vision, conception, and development of the first practical networked personal computers.