- » View All
Cognex Corporation Founders Honored by Industry Trade Group
Cognex Corporation Posted 10/25/2005
NATICK, Mass. -- Oct. 24, 2005 -- Cognex Corporation (NASDAQ: CGNX), the world's leading supplier of machine vision systems, announced today that its founders, Robert J. Shillman, William Silver and Marilyn Matz, have been presented with the prestigious 2005 SEMI Award for North America by the Semiconductor Equipment and Materials Institute, a trade group representing manufacturers of semiconductor equipment and materials. The SEMI Award honors those individuals who have made significant technical contributions to the semiconductor industry.
Shillman, Silver and Matz were honored for their pioneering role in developing machine vision technology that is now widely used in semiconductor manufacturing. The award was presented at a black-tie gala held on October 22 at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose, California.
In the early 1980s, Shillman, Silver and Matz developed the first machine vision system that could accurately and reliably read serial numbers etched on the surfaces of semiconductor wafers. Following that, they led the development of machine vision algorithms for precisely determining the position and orientation of wafers in the fabrication and testing processes.
These two vision capabilities, along with many others that Cognex developed in subsequent years, are now required at almost every stage of the semiconductor manufacturing process...starting at the front-end, in processes such as lithography and metrology, to the back-end, in processes such as probing and dicing.
'After a bare wafer is created, virtually every step in semiconductor manufacturing relies upon machine vision to ensure that the process proceeds correctly,’‘ said Stanley T. Myers, President and CEO of SEMI. ‘‘By developing high-speed, high-accuracy machine vision tools for identification and alignment, and by keeping pace with rapidly changing semiconductor manufacturing requirements, these innovators have enabled device makers to continually maximize quality and performance.’‘
Mr. Myers continued, ‘‘I congratulate them, and convey the appreciation of SEMI and the entire industry for their innovation and dedication.’‘
Over the past 25 years, Cognex has become the world's leading supplier of vision sensors and vision systems which are used to automate a wide range manufacturing processes, from inspecting potato chips to producing computer chips. The company was founded in 1981 when Shillman, an Instructor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, recruited MIT graduate students Silver and Matz to help develop vision technology. All three have worked at the company for the past 25 years and are still deeply involved with it.
Shillman serves as Chairman and CEO of Cognex. Prior to founding the company he held faculty positions in the departments of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Tufts University and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He holds a B.S.E.E. from Northeastern University, and an M.S.E.E. and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has published over 20 technical papers and is recognized as an authority in the areas of optical character recognition (OCR) and the applications of machine vision for industrial uses.
Silver, Senior Vice President and Senior Fellow at Cognex, is a leading technical authority in industrial machine vision. At MIT in the early 1970s he wrote the software for one of the earliest computer-controlled digital radar sets. He studied machine vision and robotics at MIT's Artificial Intelligence Lab as a graduate student, earning a Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in 1980. His work on optical character recognition in 1982, normalized correlation in 1987, and geometric pattern matching in 1997 became benchmarks for industrial part identification, alignment, and guidance. His latest development is a vision sensor that detects events and inspects objects at 500 frames per second. Silver holds 22 U.S. patents, with over 40 additional patents pending.
Matz studied human and machine vision as a graduate student and earned a Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT before joining the founding team of Cognex. In her initial role as a vision software developer, she helped develop Cognex's first product, DataMan, a vision system that could read letters and numbers etched or molded on the surfaces of items ranging from highly reflective semiconductor wafers to non-reflective rubber tires. Since then she has held numerous technical management roles, including Vice President of Software Engineering and Senior Vice President of Worldwide Engineering. In her current role as Senior Vice President and Business Unit Manager, Matz is responsible for the marketing and engineering of all Cognex products that run on PCs.
SEMI is a global industry association serving companies that provide equipment, materials and services used to manufacture semiconductors, displays, nano-scaled structures, micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) and related technologies. SEMI maintains offices in Austin, Beijing, Brussels, Hsinchu, Moscow, San Jose (Calif.), Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit www.semi.org.
Cognex Corporation designs, develops, manufactures, and markets machine vision systems, or computers that can ‘‘see.’‘ Cognex is the world's leader in the machine vision industry, having shipped more than 275,000 machine vision systems, representing over $1.9 billion in cumulative revenue, since the company's founding in 1981. Cognex's Modular Vision Systems Division, headquartered in Natick, Massachusetts, specializes in machine vision systems that are used for automating the manufacture of a wide range of discrete items and for assuring their quality. Cognex's Surface Inspection Systems Division, headquartered in Alameda, California, specializes in machine vision systems that are used for inspecting the surfaces of products manufactured in a continuous fashion, such as metals, papers, and plastics. In addition to its corporate headquarters in Natick, Massachusetts, Cognex also has regional offices and distributors located throughout North America, Japan, Europe, Southeast Asia and Latin America. Visit Cognex on-line at http://www.cognex.com/.
Robin Pratt, 508-650-3384