Every time you open your computer, remember this: 30 percent of its working parts were invented by a Filipino.

The name Diosdado “Dado” Banatao may not be a household name, but he is on a par with Bill Gates and the other computer geeks in Silicon Valley.

He might not be on the Forbes list of billionaires, but he is worth around $5 billion.

Banatao is well-known for introducing the first single-chip graphical user interface accelerator that made computers work a lot faster and for helping develop the Ethernet controller chip that made the Internet possible.

In 1989, he pioneered the local bus concept for personal computers and in the following year developed the First Windows accelerator chip.

Intel is now using the chips and technologies developed by Banatao.

He runs his own semiconductor company, Mostron and Chips & Technology, which is based in California’s Silicon Valley.

Many of the components that comprise the modern personal computer (PC) originated from designs he pioneered and companies he founded, built, and later sold to larger firms like Intel.

Among his other contributions to modern computers:

He is credited with the development of the world’s first single-chip, 16-bit microprocessor-based calculator; the first 10-Mbit Ethernet CMOS media access controller (MAC) and physical layer chip; the first system logic chip set for the PC-XT and the PC-AT; the local bus concept and the first Windows Graphics accelerator chip for PCs.

At the time when the world’s most powerful mainframe computer was the IBM 360, his new chip-set design produced 10 times more power at a thousandth the cost.

With his inventions, Banatao has markedly lowered the cost of PCs while at the same time improving performance.

Nine out of 10 graphics accelerators still incorporate his design.

Banatao helped develop the chip for a global positioning system (GPS), which utilizes satellites to locate objects.

Although noted as an inventor, Banatao’s main strength is being a venture capitalist.

He is currently supporting the work of 28 smaller and promising start-ups.

In 2000, he founded Tallwood Venture Capital and is chairman of many emerging companies worldwide.

When Dado has an idea, he forms a company to build it.

In the past few years, he has been talking about cloud computing, the latest “phrase du jour,” of the industry.

Banatao is willing to share with Filipinos his experience.

He has donated substantial amounts to worthwhile Filipino projects.

As a poor boy from Iguig, north of Tuguegarao, Cagayan province, Banatao has gone a long, long way from walking barefoot to school, to flying his own corporate jets to work.

His advice to fellow Filipinos; patience, fortitude and discipline, since, as he is wont to quote, “genius is 95 percent perspiration and 5 percent inspiration.”

(Reprinted from the Manila Bulletin)


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