Computing networking pioneer Metcalfe wins top industry prize

By Stephen Nellis

(Reuters) - Computing networking pioneer Bob Metcalfe on Wednesday won the industry's most prestigious prize for the invention of the Ethernet, a technology that half a century after its creation remains the foundation of the internet.

The Ethernet is the standard connection for everything from servers inside data centers to telecommunications networks.

The Association for Computing Machinery credited Metcalfe, 76, with the Ethernet's "invention, standardization, and commercialization" in conferring its 2022 Turing Award, known as the Nobel prize of computing. It comes with a $1 million prize thanks to backing from Alphabet Inc's Google.

The Ethernet got its start when Metcalfe, who later went on to co-found computing network equipment maker 3Com, was asked to hook up the office printer.

In the early 1970s, he worked at Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center, which had invented the personal computer and also a laser printer. Metcalfe sketched out a networking approach that would excel at connecting them together in way that could expand smoothly as the number of computers in the network rose - which helped pave the way for the internet.