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VITA Hall of Fame

Since the announcement of VMEbus in 1981 there have been a great number of people and ideas that have had an impact on the development and advancement of open standards used in critical embedded computing systems. The intention of the VITA Technologies Hall of Fame is to honor and preserve the remembrance of those people and technologies that have had the greatest influence on the VITA open standards industry. Many others are to come – innovators and influencers who have made a significant impact on developing, designing, creating the technology, and ferrying the technical specifications into open standards. These are the people who have overcome the technical and procedural problems, the products that set new expectations. It is our pleasure to honor these primary contributors to this industry.

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  • Saturday, February 15, 2014 8:30 AM | Jerry Gipper (Administrator)
    Induction: February 2014

    Craig MacKenna, Cecil Kaplinsky, and John Black developed the first draft of the VMEbus specification. Craig was the designer of Mostek’s first VME processor board but has not been heard from in recent years.

    In October 1981, at the System ‘81 trade show in Munich, West Germany, Motorola, Mostek, Signetics/Phillips, and Thomson CSF announced their joint support of the VMEbus.

    Craig MacKenna was the chief technical representative from Mostek in the discussions with Motorola and Signetics that led to the VMEbus. He was later the designer of Mostek’s first VME processor board. After that, he “hung in” through several years of tedious standardization efforts that led to IEEE 1014 and IEC 821, which are official specs describing the VMEbus.

    Key Contributions
    • MacKenna was the chief technical representative from Mostek in the discussions with Motorola and Signetics that led to the VMEbus
    • He was the designer of Mostek’s first VME processor board
    • MacKenna, along with John Black of Motorola, and Cecil Kaplinsky of Signetics, developed the first draft of the VMEbus specification
  • Saturday, February 15, 2014 8:00 AM | Jerry Gipper (Administrator)
    Induction: February 2014

    Cecil Kaplinsky, along with Craig MacKenna and John Black, developed the first draft of the VMEbus specification. Cecil, who was at Signetics at the time of the launch of VMEbus, went on to a career of IP development but it appears that he passed away in 1999.

    From 1988 to 1991, Cecil Kaplinsky was the VP of engineering and research and development for Plus Logic (later sold to Xilinx), which he founded.

    Kaplinsky then went on to become Corporate VP and CTO of Cradle Technologies, a venture-funded fabless semiconductor company founded in 1998, which invented a new single-chip microprocessor platform called the Universal Microsystem (UMS). Kaplinsky was responsible for researching, staffing, and developing UMS.

    Prior to Cradle, Kaplinsky spent seven years developing and selling intellectual property to companies such as Atmel, Micro Linear, Motorola, and Cirrus Logic.

    He has 32 patents issued. They can be viewed here: http://www.patentbuddy.com/Inventor/Kaplinsky-Cecil-H/4661141

    Key Contributions
    • Kaplinsky, along with John Black and Craig McKenna, developed the first draft of the VMEbus specification in 1981.
    Employment History
    • 1988 - 1991: Founder and VP of Engineering and Research/Development, Plus Logic 
    • 1992 - 1998: Developing/selling intellectual property 
    • 1998 - 1999: Corporate VP and CTO, Cradle Technologies
    Education
    • University of Cape Town
  • Friday, November 15, 2013 8:00 AM | Jerry Gipper (Administrator)
    Induction: November 2013

    For 20 years John was the oil that made the VITA Standards Organization (VSO) machine run smoothly. He oversaw the members’ development of more than 70 ANSI-recognized standards that are part of critical embedded systems used throughout the world. Under John’s guidance, the VSO became ANSI accredited, becoming the benchmark organization for many of its policies and procedures. John personally trained hundreds of engineers on the VMEbus specification that set the standard for open standards. He has done all of this tirelessly and effectively over his years of service to the industry. For his contributions, John is the first inductee into the VITA Technologies Hall of Fame.

    John Rynearson was a co-founder of Mizar in 1982 and took on the role of vice president of engineering. In 1987 John took on his first leadership role at VITA as chairman of the VITA software subcommittee. The committee had the challenge to work on a Real-time Kernel Interface Definition (RKID), unifying the many different options in real-time kernel interfaces that existed at the time.

    In December of 1993 John became the technical director of VITA, starting a 20-year career with the company. In his role as technical director, John has patiently participated in countless VITA Standards Organization (VSO) meetings, working group conference calls, and ANSI audits. He also maintained the VITA website and for several years authored the standards update columns in VME and Critical Systems magazine.

    Key Contributions
    • Transitioning VITA from paper to the Internet as the VITA website administrator
    • Conducting VMEbus training courses
    • VITA standards administrator, managing the members’ development of more than 70 ANSI-recognized standards
    • Instituting ANSI procedures and implementing the ANSI process that enabled ANSI accreditation for VITA specifications
    • Administering regular ANSI audits of the VITA policies and procedures
    • Overseeing VITA’s ITAR and patent policies, including implementing the ex-anti patent policy that makes VITA a leader in such policies as it applied to standards developer organizations
    • Secretary of VITA Board of Directors
    • Administrator for VITA conferences such as Bus and Board, CoolCon, and Military Embedded Electronics and Computing Conference (MEECC)
    • Handling countless questions on VITA specifications
    Employment History
    • 1993 - 2014: Technical Director, VITA
    • 1982 - 1992: Vice President of Engineering and Founder, MIZAR
    Education
    • 1965 - 1969: Purdue University, Masters in Electrical Engineering
    Quotes

    "I have been truly blessed to have John as the technical director of VITA during my tenure. It has been a privilege to work with John. I have great respect for his integrity and skills, and I could not have asked for a better person to be the technical director of VITA."

    Ray Alderman, VITA, Executive Director

    "I have enjoyed working with John over the past nine years. His intimate knowledge of the VSO’s policies and operations coupled with his amazing organizational skills have been crucial in helping me to fulfill the roles and responsibilities of Chairman, and are directly responsible for the smooth operation of the organization. I wish John all the best in his retirement."

    Dean Holman, Chairman of the VITA Standards Organization and Director of Global Support Services and Sustaining Engineering at Mercury Systems

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