Fabrice Bellard

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Fabrice Bellard
Born 1972 (age 45–46)
Grenoble, France
Known for QEMU, FFmpeg, Tiny C Compiler, Bellard's formula
Website bellard.org

Fabrice Bellard (French pronunciation: ​[faˈbʁis bɛˈlaʁ]) is a computer programmer who is best known as the creator of the FFmpeg and QEMU software projects. He has also developed a number of other programs, including the Tiny C Compiler.

Life and career[edit]

Bellard was born in 1972 in Grenoble, France and went to school in Lycée Joffre (Montpellier), where, at age 17, he created the executable compressor LZEXE.[1] After studying at École Polytechnique, he went on to specialize at Télécom Paris in 1996.

In 1997, he discovered a new, faster formula to calculate single digits of pi in binary representation, known as Bellard's formula. It is a variant of the Bailey–Borwein–Plouffe formula.

Bellard's entries won the International Obfuscated C Code Contest three times.[2] In 2000, he won in the category "Most Specific Output"[3] for a program that implemented the modular Fast Fourier Transform and used it to compute the then biggest known prime number, 26972593−1.[4]. In 2001, he won in the category "Best Abuse of the Rules" for a tiny compiler (the source code being only 3 kB in size) of a strict subset of the C language for i386 Linux. The program itself is written in this language subset, i.e. it is self-hosting. In 2018, he won in the category "Most inflationary"[5] for an image decompression program[6].

In 2004, he wrote the TinyCC Boot Loader, which can compile and boot a Linux kernel from source in less than 15 seconds.[7] In 2005, he designed a system that could act as an Analog or DVB-T Digital TV transmitter by directly generating a VHF signal from a standard PC and VGA card.[8] In 2011, he created a minimal PC emulator written in pure JavaScript. The emulated hardware consists of a 32-bit x86 compatible CPU, a 8259 Programmable Interrupt Controller, a 8254 Programmable Interrupt Timer, and a 16450 UART.[9]

On 31 December 2009 he claimed the world record for calculations of pi, having calculated it to nearly 2.7 trillion places in 90 days. Slashdot wrote: "While the improvement may seem small, it is an outstanding achievement because only a single desktop PC, costing less than US$3,000, was used—instead of a multi-million dollar supercomputer as in the previous records."[10][11] On 2 August 2010 this record was eclipsed by Shigeru Kondo who computed 5 trillion digits, although this was done using a server-class machine running dual Intel Xeon processors, equipped with 96 GB of RAM.

In 2011 he won an O'Reilly Open Source Award.[12]

In 2014 he proposed the BPG image format as a replacement for JPEG.[13]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]