Steve Chen (computer engineer)

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Steve S. Chen
Born 1944 (age 73–74)
Nationality Taiwanese
Other names Chinese: 陳世卿
Alma mater National Taiwan University
Villanova University
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Known for Cray X-MP and Cray Y-MP
Scientific career
Fields Computer science
Electrical engineering
Institutions Cray Research

Steve Chen (Chinese: 陳世卿; pinyin: Chén Shìqīng) (born 1944 in Taiwan) is a Taiwanese computer engineer and internet entrepreneur.


Chen earned a BS from National Taiwan University in 1966. MS from Villanova University in 1971 and a PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1975.[1]

From 1975 through 1978 he worked for Burroughs Corporation on the design of the Burroughs large systems line of supercomputers. He is best known as the principal designer of the Cray X-MP and Cray Y-MP multiprocessor supercomputers. Chen left Cray Research in September 1987 after it dropped the MP line.[2]

With IBM's financial support, Chen founded Supercomputer Systems Incorporated (SSI) in January 1988.[3][4][5] SSI was devoted to development of the SS-1 supercomputer, which was nearly completed before the estimated $150 million investment ran out. The Eau Claire, Wisconsin-based company went bankrupt in early 1993, leaving more than 300 employees jobless.[6]

An attempt to salvage the work was made by forming a new company, SuperComputer International (SCI), later that year. SCI was renamed Chen Systems in 1995.[7] It was acquired by Sequent Computer Systems the following year. John Markoff, a technology journalist, wrote in the New York Times that Chen was considered "one of the nation's most brilliant supercomputer designers while working in this country for the technology pioneer Seymour Cray in the 1980s."[8]

In 1999, Chen became founder and CEO of Galactic Computing, a developer of supercomputing blade systems, based in Shenzhen, China.[8][9] By 2005 he started to focus on grid computing to model a human brain instead.[10]

By 2010 he was reported to be working on technology to use cloud computing to improve health care in rural China.[11][12]

In 2011 he founded Information Supergrid Technologies USA.[13]

According to Chinese media reports, during 2012, Chen failed to make salary payments to the employees of his company in Beijing, which later went bankrupt. The employees later sued Chen, trying to get their salary.[14]

Chen was elected to the US National Academy of Engineering in 1991.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Shyh-Ching "Steve" Chen, Speedup of Interactive Programs in Multiprocessing Systems, PhD thesis, Tech. Report UIUCDCS-R-75-694, Dept. of Computer Science, University of Illinois, Urbana, Ill., January 1975
  2. ^ Donald Woutat (September 3, 1987). "Cray Drops Computer Venture as Too Risky; Top Researcher Resign". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 18, 2017. 
  3. ^ "Steve Chen Touts for Funds". Computer Business Review. November 29, 1988. 
  4. ^ Carla Lazzareschi (December 23, 1987). "IBM Buys Into Firm Building Supercomputer: Funds Engineer Who Had Project Killed at Cray Research". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 18, 2017. 
  5. ^ Philip Elmer-Dewitt (March 28, 1988). "Fast and Smart: Designers race to build the supercomputers of the future". Time Magazine. 
  6. ^ Chuck Murry (May 7, 1993). "Firm's Flop Adds To Computer Confusion". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 18, 2017. 
  7. ^ "Designer Starts New Computer Company". New York Times. July 3, 1995. Retrieved January 18, 2017. 
  8. ^ a b John Markoff (November 1, 2004). "Have Supercomputer, Will Travel". New York Times. Retrieved January 18, 2017. 
  9. ^ "China to lead supercomputing sector". China Business Weekly. October 25, 2004. Retrieved January 18, 2017. 
  10. ^ "The Third-Brain: The Next Generation of Supercomputer Design Beyond PetaFlop/s - an interview with Steve Chen". Primeur Weekly. August 7, 2006. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved January 18, 2017. 
  11. ^ Sherry Lee (June 24, 2010). "Steve Chen Launching China's 'Medical Cloud'". CommonWealth Magazine. Retrieved January 18, 2017. 
  12. ^ Che-Wei Lina, Shabbir Syed Abdul, Daniel L. Clinciu, Jeremiah Scholl, Xiangdong Jin Haifei Luf, Steve S. Chen, Usman Iqbal, Maxwell J. Heineckg, Yu-Chuan Li (February 2014). "Empowering village doctors and enhancing rural healthcare using cloud computing in a rural area of mainland China" (PDF). Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine. 113 (2): 585–592. doi:10.1016/j.cmpb.2013.10.005. 
  13. ^ "About Us". Information Supergrid Technologies web site. Retrieved January 18, 2017. 
  14. ^ (Chinese)
  15. ^ "Dr. Steve S. Chen". NAE Web Site. Retrieved January 18, 2017. 

External links[edit]