Carlos Paz de Araújo

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Carlos A. Paz de Araújo (born in Natal), B.S.,[1] M.S.,[1] PhD,[2] is a Brazilian American scientist and inventor.[3] He collects a portfolio of nearly 600 patents registered in his name. Most of them are associated with nanotechnology, particularly a ferroelectric memory chip (FeRAM) whose cost is lower than traditional models and greater capacity, (a ferroelectric memory chips have replaced the magnetic cards in Japan and China.).[3]

A full professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, Paz de Araujo’s groundbreaking work led to the development of integrated circuit-embedded FeRAMs used in smart cards, electronic money and other products that have revolutionized how people live.

As a founder of RAMTRON and chairman and founder of Symetrix Corporation, both in Colorado Springs, Colorado, he identified SrBi2Ta203 (SBT), the ferroelectric material used in the most advanced FeRAMs. This material resolves the fatigue problem and fabrication difficulties in these memory chips and ensures that stored information is retained even after power is switched off after more than 100 billion erase and rewrite operations.

Using technology similar to SBT, Dr. Paz de Araujo and his colleagues were the first to use ferroelectric thin-films as a high-k capacitor for cellular phones, integrated on a set of gallium arsenide chips. The resulting devices were 50 times smaller and drew only a fraction of the power of their predecessors. This chip set technology was a major factor in enabling the compact size of today’s cellular telephones and has been incorporated into hundreds of millions of cellular phones currently in use al over the world. Working with scientists at Matsushita Electric Industry Company in Japan, he then adapted SBT technology to contactless smart cards that permit information to be continuously upgraded during use. At the present, smart cards are used for applications ranging from railway and toll-road passes to corporate security cards, drivers’ licenses, telephone cards and RFID smart tags

The ferroelectric memories Dr. Paz de Araujo developed permit a write speed of 60 billionths of a second with very little degradation after more than 100 billion erase-and-write operations. He and his Symetrix colleagues have since worked to increase memory density for mobile connected devices such as wireless handhelds and third-generation cell phones.

He is the editor of The Journal of Integrated Ferroelectrics, and chairman of the International Symposium on Integrated Ferroelectrics. He has edited two books on integrated ferroelectrics which he holds 190 patents and is the author or coauthor of more than 290 papers on ferroelectrics.

He has bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.

He was the first Brazilian to win the top prize for technological innovation, awarded by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, known as IEEE Daniel E. Noble Award - an award considered the Nobel Prize like. Panasonic, the Japanese electronics giant, has acquired 9% of the equity of his company, Symetrix Corporetaion.[3]

In Brazil, however, he is almost unknown. His name did not begin to run when the Brazilian newspapers announced the construction of the first chip factory in the country and second in Latin America, without public investment.[4]


  1. ^ a b "Carlos Araujo". Spoke. Retrieved July 7, 2009. 
  2. ^ "Carlos Paz de Araújo: inventor e empresário" (in Portuguese). June 7, 2009. Retrieved July 7, 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c "Gênio ou sonhador?" (in Portuguese). ISTOÉ Dinheiro. 2009. Retrieved July 7, 2009. [permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "Começa disputa pela primeira fábrica brasileira de chips" (in Portuguese). Inovação Tecnológica. January 21, 2008. Retrieved July 7, 2009. 

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