Institute for Communication Technologies and Embedded Systems

Prof. em. Dr. sc. techn. Heinrich Meyr


Dr. Heinrich Meyr received his M.Sc. and Ph.D. from ETH Zurich, Switzerland in 1967 and 1973, respectively. He spent over 12 years in various research and management positions in industry before accepting a professorship in electrical engineering at RWTH Aachen University in 1977. At RWTH Aachen he has founded the Institute for Integrated Signal Processing System (ISS) involved in the analysis and design of complex signal processing systems for communication applications. He implemented an innovative cooperation model between university and industry without compromising academic excellence with a highly successful fund­raising program. Major industry funding included grants from leading US and European companies.

In 1998 and 2000 he was a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley´s wireless research center.

During the last 40 years, Dr. Meyr has worked extensively in the areas of communication theory, digital signal processing and CAD tools for system-level design. He pioneered cross-disciplinary research which emphasizes the interaction of the previously unrelated areas of algorithm design ("theory"), VLSI-architecture ("implementation"), and design methodology ("tools") in the late 80´s. He has made significant contributions or defined and guided research in all three areas mentioned above. He and his students contributed innovative designs of Viterbi- and MAP decoders; they implemented one of the first DVB-S (1997) and DVB-T (2000) receiver chips. Recently, they designed the first sphere decoder (2010) with soft-input-soft-output capability as a key building block of an iterative receiver for MIMO transmission. In collaboration with ETH-Zürich and EPFL, Switzerland, the team implemented the first complete receiver chip for iterative MIMO transmission in 2012.

In the tools area a large research effort led to the tool suites COSSAP and LISATek. These tool suites are among the few ones which have made the transition from academic research to industrialization.

In communication theory significant contribution were made in the nonlinear theory of PLL, synchronization and channel estimation.  The book, “Digital Communication Receivers”, J. Wiley, 1998 is the standard work in this area.  It is used worldwide in academia and has over 1600 citation in “Harzing´s Publish or Perrish” It is equally widespread found in industrial labs worldwide.

Dr. Meyr has a citation index of h=59 and has   received three IEEE best paper awards. He is a Life-Fellow IEEE. He is the recipient of the prestigious “Vodafone Innovation Prize” for the year 2000.

He has retired as Professor Emeritus but remains active as a researcher and teacher. In 2008 he was a visiting Professor at the Institute of Communication Technology of the ETH Zürich directed by Professor Helmut Bölcskei. From 2010 until March 2013 he has been a visiting Professor at the LSI lab of the EPFL directed by Professor Giovanni de Micheli. In April 2013 he has been elected as an emeriti of excellence and awarded the title of Grand Professor at the TU Dresden. He also chairs the international scientific board of the research cluster “cfaed” recently granted by the DFG to TU Dresden. “cfaed" is the only research cluster in EE nationwide in the highly competitive program of the German government to promote excellence in research.

Dr. Meyr has a dual career as entrepreneur. He is a co-founder of CADIS (acquired 1993 by Synopsys, Mountain View, California) a company which commercialized the tool suite COSSAP. After the acquisition of CADIS a separate branch of CADIS has lead to the formation of an independent company, ATECOM which was acquired by Globespan Virata in 2001. He is also a co-founder of AXYS which has been acquired by ARM the year 2000. In 2002 he co-founded LISATek Inc., a company with breakthrough technology to design application specific processors. In February 2004 LISATek has merged with CoWare Inc, San Jose.  At CoWare Dr. Meyr accepted the position of Chief Scientific Officerficer. In 2010 CoWare has been acquired by Synopsys, the most successful EDA Company worldwide. The technology based on research at ISS and commercialized by CoWare now is the core of the system level design tools of Synopsys. Dr. Meyr has also been a board member of large international companies located in Switzerland and the US.

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