Hermann K. Gummel

Hermann K. Gummel
Hermann K. Gummel
Hanover, Germany
Associated organizations
Bell Labs
Fields of study
IEEE David Sarnoff Award


Hermann K. Gummel was the Assistant Director of the Computer Aided Design and Test Laboratory at Bell Labs, in Murray Hill, New Jersey. In addition, he manages a department responsible for development of computer aids for integrated circuit design.

Dr. Gummel was born on July 6, 1923 in Hanover, Germany. He received Diplom Physiker degree from the University of Marburg, Germany in 1952 and the M.S . and Ph.D degrees in physics from Syracuse University, N.Y., in 1952 and 1957, respectively. In 1957, he joined Bell Labs at Murray Hill, New Jersey where he has worked on a wide range of topics in semiconductor electronics. His early work dealt with the design and performance of solar cells for the Telstar satellite. After the conclusion of the Telstar project, he became interested in understanding the detailed behavior of bipolar transistors. He pioneered a numerical method for analyzing the behavior of a transistor based on its one-dimensional doping profile. This method has been the cornerstone of much of the device simulation efforts in the last two decades. His understanding of the transistor lead him to a compact analytical model of the transistor based on the charge control concept. This model, now widely known as the Gummel-Poon model and available in many circuit simulation programs, contains an accurate representation of many physical phenomena in a transistor. He also applied the numerical method for analyzing transistors to IMPATT diodes for study of the avalanche region and the large signal behavior.

Having mastered the aids for device analysis, he began to address the aids for designing integrated circuits in the MSI/LSI era. He saw the potential of minicomputers for performing computer-aided-design for IC's and demonstrated their capability ill dealing with large circuit layouts. He has since pioneered and supervised development of many new design aids, notable among them are a semi-automatic polycell layout system, a timing simulator, an aid to extract circuit description from layout, and an interactive layout system.

Dr. Gummel, a Fellow of the IEEE, was a member of the American Physical Society and Sigma Xi. He has coauthored more than 50 technical papers. He and his wife, Erika, resided in Murray Hill, New Jersey and he enjoys programming as a pastime.