Guidance from Information Theory – an engineering perspective

2018 ISIT Plenary Talk -- Vail, CO
Guidance from Information Theory – an engineering perspective
Gottfried Ungerboeck


Gottfried Ungerboeck is an Austrian communications engineer. He received a Dipl. Ing. degree in electrical engineering with emphasis on telecommunications from the Vienna University of Technology in 1964. Thereafter he worked at IBM Austria as a computer systems engineer. – In 1967 he joined the IBM Zurich Research Laboratory, where his initial work dealt with digital speech signal processing. In parallel he developed a strong interest in communication and information theory. In 1970 he received a Ph.D. degree from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ) with a thesis on the optimum detection of distorted binary signals in Gaussian noise. Well-known among his contributions to the theory of data transmission is his invention of trellis coded modulation (TCM) in 1976-1978. As an application-oriented engineer he developed programmable digital signal processors (DSPs), which were used for the realization of fully operational voice-band modems employing TCM and other new concepts. Other projects led to the introduction of partial response signaling with maximum likelihood sequence detection (PRML) in hard-disk drives, a first satellite modem employing TCM, LAN transceivers for high-speed transmission over twisted-pair copper wires, etc.. — In 1998 he joined Broadcom Corporation as a technical director in the communication business line. He was engaged in DOCIS cable modems, DSL technology, terrestrial digital TV transmission, advanced FEC coding for optical channels, Ethernet transceivers – specifically 10GBASET, and participated in related ITU and IEEE standard developments. After his retirement in 2009 he taught courses on classical and modern channel coding at NDU, KAIST, TUM, and ETHZ until 2013. — Ungerboeck’s recognitions include the 1984 Information Theory Group Prize Paper Award. He is the recipient of many other awards.