University of Pittsburgh
March 27, 2006

Pitt Alumnus Who Designed Pentium Chip to Sign Copies of The Pentium Chronicles April 20

Author Robert Colwell (BSEE '77) recently was inducted into prestigious National Academy of Engineering

PITTSBURGH-University of Pittsburgh School of Engineering alumnus Robert P. Colwell will give a brief presentation and sign copies of his new book The Pentium Chronicles: The People, Passion, and Politics Behind Intel's Landmark Chips (Wiley-IEEE Computer Society Press, 2005) from 2 to 3 p.m. April 20 in the lobby of Pitt's Benedum Hall, 3700 O'Hara St., Oakland.

The book is a personal account of the challenges faced by the developers of Intel's P6 chip, of which Colwell was the chief designer. The chip has become the most successful general-purpose processor ever created, serving as the basis for Intel microprocessors such as the Pentium II and III, Celeron, Xeon, and Centrino.

"Somewhat to my surprise, the P6 design project turned out to be a watershed event in the history of the computer industry and the Internet," Colwell writes in the book.

Colwell was inducted earlier this year into the prestigious National Academy of Engineering for his contributions to turning novel computer architecture concepts into viable, cutting-edge commercial processors. In 1997, he was named an Intel Fellow, the highest technical grade at the company. Colwell was recognized by Pitt's School of Engineering in 2000 with the Distinguished Alumni Award for the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and the University named him a Distinguished Alumni Fellow in 2001. In 2005, he received the Eckert-Mauchly Award from the Association for Computing Machinery and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Computer Society.

He has published 16 technical papers and journal articles, is inventor or coinventor on more than 45 patents, and has participated in numerous panel sessions and invited talks. Currently an independent consultant, Colwell is the Perspectives editor at IEEE Computer Magazine and author of the "At Random" column.

Colwell earned the Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Pitt in 1977 and the Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 1978 and 1985, respectively.

Sponsored by Pitt's School of Engineering, the event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. The Pentium Chronicles may be purchased in advance through the publisher's Web site ( or at the event itself.

For more information, contact Sonia Bembic at 412-624-2640 or