Analogue chip legend dies in crash

Analogue chip legend Bob Pease, and the author of “How To Drive Into Accidents – And How Not To”, has been killed in a car crash. He was 71.

The California Highway Patrol said Pease was driving his red 1969 Volkswagen Beetle on Saturday eventing when he veered too far right during a left-hand curve in west Saratoga. Pease, who was not wearing his seat belt, was killed instantly.

He had just been to a memorial service to remember another analogue expert and friend Jim Williams.

Pease, who sported a long white beard, saw himself as an industry grumpy person. EDN says he was famous for throwing computers off the tops of buildings. We like that.

He started work in the early 1960s at George A. Philbrick Researches. There he pioneered the first reasonable-cost, op amp which had the catchy title theK2-W. Pease dreamed up high-performance op amps, built with discrete solid-state components.

However, he was best known for his work at National Semiconductor. He came up with the LM331 voltage to frequency converter,and the LM337 adjustable voltage regulator. The negative voltage regulator sold more than 135 million copies.

He also came up with a chip that flew on the Apollo Moon mission and components that made medical missions to Mount Everest. Over the years his name appeared on 21 patents and eight books, including Troubleshooting Analog Circuits and the one with the unfortunate title “How to Drive into Accidents — and How Not to”.

After he retired from National Semiconductor he began writing column entitled “Pease Porridge” in Electronic Design Magazine about his experiences in the world of electronic design. He also wrote a lot about his red 1969 Volkswagen Beetle which he drove everywhere in.