About Us

InspireSemi is dedicated to developing and delivering superior solutions for blockchain, HPC, AI and other compute-intensive applications. As innovators work to bring breakthrough products to market, they are constantly challenged to gain affordable compute speeds and energy efficiencies needed to be competitive. InspireSemi is uniquely positioned to partner with innovators through its commitment to a versatile architecture with blistering speed, energy efficiency, open developer-friendly programming model, and game-changing affordability.

InspireSemi is led by a seasoned team with extensive technology experience and a strong performance history of bringing new initiatives to market. The team achieved exceptional performance benchmarks with its Gen1 ASIC chip, which is currently a powerful performer in the crypto mining space. InspireSemi is currently in Gen2 development with innovative accelerator, software, power and cooling systems designed to deliver breakthrough performance both in terms of compute and cost.

Alex Gray
Founder & President

Alex is the founder of InspireSemi and inventor of its processor architecture. He is a versatile technical leader skilled in most areas of electronic design, and across other engineering disciplines. He previously founded CryptoCore Intellectual Holdings LLC, the predecessor to InspireSemi, and Gray Global Enterprises LLC, a lab equipment supplier. He has over a decade of design engineering experience with companies including SunPower Corporation and SolarBridge Technologies. He earned his BS in Electrical Engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign at age 20. He holds nine patents.

John B. Kennedy
Chief Financial Officer

John has over 30 years of experience in finance and administration, with a strong focus in venture-backed startup and growth stage companies. Most recently he served as CFO of TriLumina, a leading illumination solution technology company. Prior to TriLumina John was CFO of Sprocket Media, Inc. and SolarBridge Technologies, Inc., a start-up solar micro-inverter company, VP of Finance and Administration for Primarion, Inc., a leading mixed signal digital power semiconductor company acquired by Infineon Technologies. John holds a BS in Accounting and Finance from Elmira College in New York.

Ron Van Dell
Interim Chief Operating Officer

Ron has 40 years of experience and an exceptional track record of success and proven leadership skills in early-stage, turn-around and established businesses. He is former CEO of Primarion, SolarBridge, and several other semiconductor and hardware startups. He has deep experience in organization design and development, corporate/competitive strategy, international business & global accounts, technology road maps, and business development. He has played key roles in industry-leading category development and technology substitutions across power, communications, computing and renewable energy segments.  Ron earned his BS in Electrical Engineering with honors from Michigan Technological University.

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Doug Norton
VP Business Development

Doug is a senior enterprise business development, sales, and marketing executive with over 30 years experience in technology companies big and small. He brings a customer focused approach to developing product roadmaps, marketing content, developing OEM, channel, & technology partnerships, and building worldwide sales teams. He began his career at IBM in product development then moved to the sales & marketing organization. He went on to various senior leadership positions at Cadence Design Systems, CoWare, Newisys, and Nimbix. Doug earned his BS in Electrical Engineering from Missouri University of Science & Technology.

Jim O’Connor
VP Engineering

Jim is a talented hands-on IC design leader. He founded Solid Oak Technologies, an electronic design automation and services company. Prior to that, he was Solutions Group Director at Cadence, a leading provider of system design tools, software, IP, and services. He was also Director of Memory Products Design Engineering at Everspin Technologies, a magnetic RAM (MRAM), and VP of Engineering at CoinTerra, a producer of cryptocurrency ASIC processors and systems. He earned his BSEE and MEngEE from the J.B. Speed School of Engineering, University of Louisville.

Marc Karasek
Principal Software Engineer

Marc has a 25 year + history of delivering high quality software solutions and integrating innovative new features. He worked with Cisco Systems for a decade and was Principal Software Engineer for their Connected Home initiative. Prior to that, Marc was a Senior Software Engineers at Sun Microsystems/Oracle Corporation. is the author of multiple open source projects and invented several patented and patents pending innovations. He is an advanced leader in the field who has spoken at industry conferences and been published in multiple engineering magazines.

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Paul Nixon
QuillPen Advisors, LLC

Paul Nixon has 40 years of experience in the semiconductor industry, having held executive engineering management roles at Texas Instruments (TI), Apple Computer, and NXP Semiconductors.  He co-founded Intrinsity, a high-performance processor company acquired by Apple. Throughout his career Paul has taken on high-risk technologies and enabled engineers to create innovative solutions and numerous breakthrough products. He is currently a semiconductor consultant to the investment industry on market strategies and technology and owns a financial planning and investment management firm focused on helping engineers develop financial/retirement plans and manage investments. Paul also serves on the board of Anametrics, a quantum photonics company.

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Srinivasan Iyengar
Cadence Design Systems

Srini Iyengar has over 25 years of silicon engineering experience, specializing in building custom silicon solutions that are optimized for workloads and built to keep the BOM down. He is a Corporate VP & Fellow at Cadence Design Systems where he leads a global SOC services team of 250+ members. He has led many visible high-stake projects to success and has most recently focused on hyperscale cloud computing companies. Prior to Cadence he was an analog mixed-signal circuit design engineer at Bell Labs (Lucent Microelectronics). Srini earned his MSEE from Lamar University and holds multiple patents in mixed-signal design and simulation.

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Michael Deem
Certus, LLC

Michael Deem is an experienced senior professional who has operated in senior management, Board, and advisor capacities with companies ranging from start-up, to rapid growth, to large multi-national companies. His intellectual bandwidth has benefited companies from a wide cross section of industries that include Life Sciences, Artificial Intelligence, Genomics, Data Science, Biotechnology, Energy, and Cancer Research.  Michael recently finished his term as Department Chair of Bioengineering at Rice University. In this capacity, he oversaw a department with 20 tenure track faculty, 5 non-tenure track faculty and instructors, 20 support and research staff, 200 undergraduate and 125 graduate students, and an annual research and operating budget of approximately $27 million. 

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Tim Gorham
Founder, Chronos Technologies

Tim is an executive with fifteen years of professional experience focusing on volatility trading and market making, bringing significant experience in algorithmic development, hardware integration, and complex risk management. During his tenure as an executive, he had hands-on experience managing risk, designing and implementing elaborate systems, and solving complex problems. His private investments span various growth stages and multiple sectors including real estate, personal finance management, sports injury prevention, cryptocurrencies, algorithmic trading platforms, and customized hardware solutions. He is a domain expert in volatility trading, estimation, and surface calibration, and he most recently cocreated the fastest commercially available volatility trading engine, a turnkey product that provides a complete suite of trading algorithms and can execute in less than 120 nanoseconds.

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Jim Hogan
Advisor Emeritus

Jim had more than 40 years experience in the semiconductor design and manufacturing industry and was very helpful in the early stages of building InspireSemi.   He was as a senior executive and board director in electronic design automation (EDA), intellectual property, semiconductor equipment, material science and IT companies.  As a technology company investor and board member, he participated in more than 20 successful exits.  For all his accomplishment and renown in the industry, he topped it by being one of the most genuinely nice human beings you could ever hope to meet and count as a friend.  Jim was the managing partner of Vista Ventures, LLC.  and served on several private companies’ board of directors. Additionally, Jim served as a strategic advisor to several private and public companies.


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