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David Boggs, co-inventor of Ethernet, dies

One of the inventors of Ethernet, David Boggs, has passed away at the age of 72.

The developer died on February 19 in Palo Alto, California. His wife Marcia Bush said the death was due to heart failure.

In the spring of 1973, immediately after entering graduate school at Stanford University, Boggs went on an internship at Xerox PARC, a Silicon Valley research lab that was developing a new type of personal computer. There he metcalfe, who was studying ways to send information to the new Alto laboratory computer. Metcalfe was trying to send electrical impulses down the cable. Boggs offered to help him.

Over the next two years, they developed the first version of Ethernet.

It was not the first network technology. Researchers from various universities and companies by that time had already created a computer network called Arpanet, which later turned into the modern Internet. But Ethernet was a way to connect devices over short distances.

Other universities and companies have proposed similar technologies. But in the 1980s and 90s, after Ethernet became the industry standard, it was the dominant protocol for building networks in corporate offices. Eventually it began to be used in homes as well. Modern wireless networks borrow parts of the Ethernet protocol and are often connected to Ethernet equipment.

David Boggs received a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Princeton University and then went to Stanford, where he eventually received his master's and Ph.D. degrees, also a degree in electrical engineering. Early in his Stanford career, he saw a presentation by Alan Kay, one of PARC's key thinkers. He met Kay and then went on an internship at the lab and then started working there.

At PARC, Metcalfe and Boggs created the Ethernet technology project, borrowing ideas from the University of Hawaii's wireless network called ALOHAnet. By sending tiny packets of information between computers and other devices, including printers, Ethernet has the potential to work without wires. In the 1980s, it became the standard protocol for wired PC networks. In the late 90s, it served as the basis for Wi-Fi, which spread to homes and offices over the next two decades.

In 1979, Metcalfe founded 3Com, an Ethernet commercialization company, while Boggs decided to stay at PARC as a researcher. He later moved to another research lab at DEC, one of the computer giants of the 1970s and 80s, before founding his own Ethernet company, LAN Media, which was later sold to a larger player called SBE.

David Boggs, co-inventor of Ethernet, dies