Team

InspireSemi is led by accomplished experts with extensive experience in relevant technology areas and a strong performance history of bringing new initiatives to market.  Our expertise spans chip design, power conversion, blockchain, crypto currency mining, high-performance computing, and AI/ML.
The team achieved exceptional performance results with its Gen1 ASIC chip, which was a powerful performer in the crypto mining space.  InspireSemi is currently developing its Gen2 ‘Thunderbird’ accelerated computing solution with innovative hardware, software, power and cooling systems designed to deliver breakthrough compute performance, reduced energy consumption, and faster time to market.
Our Team
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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.

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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.

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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 business development, sales, and marketing executive with over 35 years of experience in public and startup enterprise technology companies. 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.  He is President of the Society of HPC Professionals and member of the RISC-V SIG-HPC and marketing committee. Doug earned a BS in Electrical Engineering cum laude from Missouri University of Science & Technology.

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Jim O’Connor
VP Engineering

Jim is a talented hands-on IC design leader with over 35 years of experience. 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.

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Thomas Fedorko
VP Operations

Thomas is an entrepreneurial executive bringing more than 35 years of hands-on technical and business leadership in semiconductor Operations. Most recently he was the VP of Operations for Eta Compute who developed an ultra-low power solution for energy constrained AI applications. Prior to that he led the Operations teams for several successful startup companies including Uhnder, Bluetechnix (acquired by Becom), Black Sand Technologies (acquired by Qualcomm), Luminary Micro (acquired by Texas Instruments) and Oak Technology (acquired by Zoran). He began his career as a product engineer at Motorola Semiconductor who delivered the first microprocessor for the Apple Macintosh. Thomas graduated with honors with a technical degree from DeVry University and is a graduate of the Motorola Management Institute.

 

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Martin Denham
Director IC Design

Marty is a talented design engineer with over 35 years of ASIC architecture and mixed-signal design experience. Over the past 13 years as a Sr. Principal Design Engineer, he has provided project leadership, architecture & component design to 25 ASICs, featuring mixed-signal imaging Read-Out ICs (ROICs), Bitcoin ASICs, LIDAR and Infrared (IR).  Throughout his career, he has designed components and design automation software for approximately 40 full-custom ASICs for notable companies including Continental HFL LIDAR, Raytheon Vision Systems, Intel, Tektronix, and Texas Instruments. Marty received his BS in Electrical & Electronics Engineering from Oregon State University. He holds 30 patents plus 2 patents pending and has received numerous accolades, including twice receiving Intel’s highest honor, the Intel Achievement Award.

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Marc Karasek
Principal Software Engineer

Marc has a 25+ year history of delivering high quality software solutions and integrating innovative new features. He previously worked with Cisco Systems for a decade and was Principal Software Engineer for their Connected Home initiative. Prior to that, he was a Senior Software Engineer at Sun Microsystems/Oracle Corporation. He is the author of multiple open source projects and invented several patented and patent pending innovations. Marc is an advanced leader in the field who has spoken at industry conferences, been published in multiple engineering magazines, and is a contributor to RISC-V International as the Chair of the  Embedded SIG and member of the Architecture Test and HPC SIGs.

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Jonathan Ehlmann
Principal Electronics Engineer

Jon’s focus is on power electronics and balance of system. Skilled in board- and system-level design and simulation, he has worked as staff engineer at Enphase Energy and SunPower Corporation where he developed differential power processing converters. Prior to that he investigated new technologies and defined new product roadmaps for SolarBridge Technologies. He earned an M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Ahsan Kabeer
Principal Design Verification Engineer

Ahsan is an IC verification expert with 20+ years of experience in Pre-Si RTL verification, methodology, RTL design, performance modelling and architecture specification. He has a proven track record of developing high quality products in different segments of CPU & SoCs from concept to tape-out. He has broad experience working with x86 & ARM-based multi-core, multi-threaded CPU server chips, memory subsystems, coherent & non-coherent data flows, interrupt controllers, power aware design, buck converter and mobile SoC design. He previously was Senior Staff Verification Engineer at Renesas and Broadcom. Prior to that, he worked as staff engineer for AMD & Intel Corporation. Ahsan earned his MS in Computer Engineering from Clemson University and BS in CSE from Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology (BUET).

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Tianpeng Dai
Principal Software Engineer

Tianpeng has over 20 years of experience in multiple hardware and software engineering domains, including successful projects in post silicon verification, embedded systems, and functional safety. He has performed chip verification, validation, and Software Development Kit (SDK) development for products in a range of markets including WiFi, DVB, and firewalls. He previously founded two startup companies which were acquired by public companies. Tianpeng holds a BS degree from Beijing Normal University and an MBA degree in Beijing.

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Swami Balasubramanian
Principal RTL Design Engineer

Swami brings in 25+ years of experience in chip design and implementation ranging from memory chips to high performance CPU and DSP  cores, SoCs and FPGAs. His expertise encompasses CPU architecture, RTL design and implementation, pre-and post silicon validation and includes work on several high performance cores and SoCs at Sun Microsystems, Qualcomm, TI and Intel.  In the past few years he has also gained experience in building several real-time systems (software and hardware) and  embedded systems, and has worked in startups and other companies that build complex automation machines.  Swami also has an understanding of the current technologies in AI and ML (machine learning) algorithms with an emphasis on computer vision, and he has contributed to solving industrial problems related to object recognition,  segmentation and feature extraction. Swami has a Bachelors and Masters degree in Physics and Electrical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, and Executive MBA from UT Austin, TX .

InspireSemi

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