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Bob Pease

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Bob Pease
Full face portrait, showing mature glasses-wearing adult male with white hair and a full white mustache and long beard
Robert Allen Pease

(1940-08-22)August 22, 1940
DiedJune 18, 2011(2011-06-18) (aged 70)
Alma materMassachusetts Institute of Technology (BSEE 1961)
Occupation(s)Electronics engineer
Technical author
Known forAnalog integrated circuit design
SpouseNancy Pease
ChildrenTwo sons

Robert Allen Pease (August 22, 1940 – June 18, 2011) was an electronics engineer known for analog integrated circuit (IC) design, and as the author of technical books and articles about electronic design.[1][2] He designed several very successful "best-seller" ICs, many of them in continuous production for multiple decades.These include LM331 voltage-to-frequency converter,[3] and the LM337 adjustable negative voltage regulator (complement to the LM317).

Life and career[edit]

Pease was born on August 22, 1940, in Rockville, Connecticut.[4][5] He attended Northfield Mount Hermon School in Massachusetts, and subsequently obtained a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (BSEE) degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1961.[6] He started work in the early 1960s at George A. Philbrick Researches (GAP-R). GAP-R pioneered the first reasonable-cost, mass-produced operational amplifier (op-amp), the K2-W. At GAP-R, Pease developed many high-performance op-amps, built with discrete solid-state components.

In 1976, Pease moved to National Semiconductor Corporation (NSC) as a Design and Applications Engineer, where he began designing analog monolithic ICs, as well as design reference circuits using these devices. He had advanced to Staff Engineer by the time of his departure in 2009.[7][8] During his tenure at NSC, he began writing a popular continuing monthly column called "Pease Porridge" in Electronic Design about his experiences in the world of electronic design and application.[9]

The last project Pease worked on was the THOR-LVX[10][11][12][13] (photo-nuclear) microtron Advanced Explosives contraband Detection System: "A Dual-Purpose Ion-Accelerator for Nuclear-Reaction-Based Explosives-and SNM-Detection in Massive Cargo".[14][15][16][17][18]

Pease was the author of eight books, including Troubleshooting Analog Circuits, and he held 21 patents.[19] Although his name was listed as "Robert A. Pease" in formal documents, he preferred to be called "Bob Pease" or to use his initials "RAP" in his magazine columns.

His other interests included hiking and biking in remote places, and working on his old Volkswagen Beetle, which he often mentioned in his columns.[20] Pease's writing was "strongly opinionated, but he could communicate with a wry sense of humor that endeared him to readers whether they agreed with him or not".[1][21][22]

My favorite programming language is ... solder.[6]


Flag at half-staff at National Semiconductor on June 21, 2011

Pease was killed in the crash of his 1969 Volkswagen Beetle, on June 18, 2011.[23][24][25] He was leaving a gathering in memory of Jim Williams, who was another well-known analog circuit designer, a technical author, and a renowned staff engineer working at Linear Technology. Pease was 70 years old, and was survived by his wife, two sons, and three grandchildren.[25] The sudden death of Pease triggered a small flood of remembrances and tributes from fellow technical writers, practicing engineers, and electronics hardware hacking enthusiasts.[21][23][26][27][16][28][29]

Bob was notorious for his design chops, but also for his messy office. Below is one of his early offices at National, where he won a contest from a newspaper for messiest desk. Nancy (his wife) recollects, “It was a San Jose Mercury News messiest desk contest. Someone entered a picture of his office on his behalf, and asked him if he won a big prize would he share it. Bob didn’t know what the prize was at the time. The competition was in no way up to his entry, so they gave him 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prizes. The prize was for office furniture. Bob sold it to National and threw a pizza party with the money.”[28]

Publications (partial)[edit]

  • Pease, Robert A. (1993). Troubleshooting analog circuits. Boston: Butterworth-Heinemann. ISBN 978-0-7506-9499-5. – An industry standard bench-top reference book for troubleshooting (and designing) analog circuits
  • Pease, Bob (1998). How to Drive Into Accidents ... and How Not To [An idiosyncratic, entertaining, and insightful book on safe driving techniques, written for novices and experienced drivers alike]. San Francisco: self-published. ISBN 978-0-9655648-1-6. Archived from the original on June 8, 2001. Retrieved June 8, 2001. What was the first motivation for the book? My cousin Ellen Hubbard lost her 16-year-old daughter Christine to an unfortunate driving accident, a few years back. The official police report said that they did not know how the accident happened. But two young women died when their car was hit by a truck. The idea of a book began to grow, but I got sidetracked until the fall of 1994. {{cite book}}: |website= ignored (help)
  • Pease, Robert A., ed. (2008). Analog Circuits: World Class Designs. The Newnes World Class Designs Series. Newnes. ISBN 978-0-7506-8627-3.
  • Ashby, Darren; Baker, Bonnie; Ball, Stuart; Crowe, J.; Hayes-Gill, Barrie; Hickman, Ian; Kester, Walt; Mancini, Ron; Grout, Ian; Pease, Robert; Tooley, Mike; Williams, Tim; Wilson, Peter; Zeidman, Bob (2008). Circuit Design: Know It All. The Newnes Know It All Series. Newnes. ISBN 978-1-85617-527-2.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Tuite, Don (June 20, 2011). "Remembering Bob Pease The Writer". Electronic Design. Penton Media, Inc. Archived from the original on June 24, 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-21.
  2. ^ Williams, Jim (1991). Analog Circuit Design: Art, Science and Personalities. Newnes. p. xvi. ISBN 978-0-7506-9640-1. Retrieved 2010-07-15.
  3. ^ "Engineering Silicon Valley" (PDF). National Semiconductor. p. 1. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2003-08-12. Retrieved 2010-07-15.
  4. ^ "National Semiconductor Staff Scientist Bob Pease Named To Electrical Engineering Hall Of Fame" (Press release). National Semiconductor. October 21, 2002. Archived from the original on January 15, 2003.
  5. ^ Robert A. Pease (December 1984). "A new Fahrenheit temperature sensor". IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits. 19 (6): 971–977. Bibcode:1984IJSSC..19..971P. doi:10.1109/JSSC.1984.1052253. S2CID 43707191.
  6. ^ a b "Remembering Bob Pease". National Semiconductor. Archived from the original on 2011-06-23. Retrieved 27 June 2021. After attending Northfield Mount Herman High School in Massachusetts, Bob earned a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from MIT in 1961 and started working at George A. Philbrick Researches....
  7. ^ Cassidy, Mike (April 20, 2009). "Departure of chip-design legend Bob Pease prompts outpouring in valley". San Jose Mercury News. Archived from the original on September 24, 2012. Retrieved 2010-07-15.
  8. ^ Rako, Paul (March 19, 2009). "National Semiconductor lays off Bob Pease". Anablog - Blog on EDN. EDN. Archived from the original on 2009-03-20. Retrieved 27 June 2021. I bet you thought that RAP was immune to layoffs. So did I.
  9. ^ Gawel, Richard (June 21, 2011). "An English Major Remembers An Analog Giant". Electronic Design. Penton Media, Inc. Archived from the original on June 25, 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-21.
  10. ^ Lowdermilk, W. H.; Brothers, L. J. (6 September 2017). "Accelerator-Detector Complex for Photonuclear Detection of Hidden Explosives Final Report Crada No. Tc2065.0". doi:10.2172/1396209. OSTI 1396209 – via www.osti.gov. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ "Counter-Terrorism". 2 August 2008. Archived from the original on 2 August 2008.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  12. ^ "Valley Forge Composite Technologies Inc.: Private Company Information". Bloomberg.
  13. ^ "UC Alum Develops Anti-Terror Detection Technology". www.uc.edu.
  14. ^ arXiv, Emerging Technology from the. "A New Way to Deal with the Cargo Container Security Problem".
  15. ^ "Bob-Pease--His-last-challenge--Part-two". Archived from the original on 2017-12-01. Retrieved 2017-11-19.
  16. ^ a b TARANOVICH, STEVE (17 June 2013). "Bob Pease: A tribute to his last challenge– "What's all this voltage reference stability stuff?" Part one". Retrieved 6 May 2023.
  17. ^ "Bob Pease: His last challenge, Part three–The precision resistor". 4 October 2013. Retrieved 6 May 2023.
  18. ^ TARANOVICH, STEVE (7 October 2013). "More on Pease's precision resistor article". Retrieved 6 May 2023.
  19. ^ Mattera, Lucinda (September 13, 2004). "Hall-Of-Famers Ponder The Future Of Electronics Engineering". Electronic Design News. Archived from the original on November 16, 2009. Retrieved 2010-07-15.
  20. ^ Pease, Bob. "Pease Porridge column". Electronic Design. Archived from the original on 2004-05-23. Retrieved 2010-07-15.
  21. ^ a b Desposito, Joseph. "Bob Pease Remembered For Pease Porridge And A Whole Lot More". Electronic Design. Penton Media, Inc. Archived from the original on 2011-06-23. Retrieved 2011-06-21.
  22. ^ Schneiderman, Ron. "Robert A. Pease: Passionate, Talented Guru And Maverick". Electronic Design. Penton Media, Inc. Archived from the original on 2010-01-02. Retrieved 2011-06-21.
  23. ^ a b Schweber, Bill (June 20, 2011). "Analog expert Bob Pease dies in accident". EE Times. Archived from the original on 2011-06-22. Retrieved 2011-06-20.
  24. ^ Desposito, Joseph (June 19, 2011). "Bob Pease Killed in Car Crash". Electronic Design. Archived from the original on June 2, 2012. Retrieved June 22, 2012.
  25. ^ a b Rako, Paul (June 20, 2011). "Analog engineering legend Bob Pease killed in car crash". Electronic Design News. UBM Electronics. Archived from the original on July 11, 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-21.
  26. ^ Rako, Paul, ed. (June 20, 2011). "Analog engineering legend Bob Pease remembered". Electronic Design News. UBM Electronics. Archived from the original on 2012-03-08. Retrieved 2011-06-21.
  27. ^ Szczys, Mike (June 21, 2011). "The passing of Bob Pease". Hack a Day. Retrieved 2011-06-21.
  28. ^ a b Rako, Paul (2016-06-16). "Honoring the late analog great Bob Pease". EDN. Archived from the original on 2020-07-15. Retrieved 27 June 2021. Notorious analog engineer Bob Pease died five years ago, on June 18, 2011. His passing was all the more tragic since he died driving home from a remembrance for fellow analog great Jim Williams. Although it was a Saturday, Bob had come to the service from his office at National Semiconductor, now Texas Instruments.
  29. ^ National Semiconductor. "National Remembers Legendary Analog Expert Bob Pease". PR Newswire. UBM plc. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 27 June 2021. Among the products Pease designed are temperature-voltage frequency converters used in groundbreaking medical research expeditions to Mt. Everest in the 1980s. He also designed a seismic pre-amplifier chip used to measure lunar ground tremors in the U.S. Apollo moon landing missions. Among his more memorable designs are the LM331 voltage-to-frequency converter and the LM337 adjustable voltage regulator....Pease's reputation grew as he shared the secrets of analog design with engineers around the world through National's Analog Seminars. His passion for sharing information knew no bounds. He worked long hours, answering phone calls and emails from anyone with questions about analog design: customer, student, veteran engineer – it didn't matter....National Fellow Dennis Monticelli remembers Pease as a helpful colleague and friend. "We go way back to my days as a green engineer when his gregarious personality and sheer knowledge drew me in. Bob was always generous with his time and never forgot what interested you whether work-related or not. He could multi-task like no other, yet also dive deep and narrow into esoteric areas.

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