MING-KAI, TSAI

2024 IEEE ROBERT N. NOYCE MEDAL

Sponsored by Intel Corporation

For vision and leadership in the global semiconductor industry, democratizing technology access for billions of people

Since the early 2000s, Ming-Kai (MK) Tsai has successfully executed his vision to bring new technologies to billions of people. As the Founder and Executive Chairman of MediaTek Incorporated, he helped develop the mobile phone SOC market and created a new business model called “Turnkey Solutions,” which made mobile communication technologies affordable to nearly everyone. In 2014, Tsai declared his wish to “connect with the next 5 billion people,” particularly in developing and emerging economies. In 2022, MediaTek had enabled more than 2 billion devices worldwide.

In the 1980s, he joined United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC), Taiwan’s first semiconductor company, where he later became President of its products business unit. At UMC, he pioneered Taiwan’s chip designs in diverse areas such as CPUs, mass storage, communications, and multimedia. He also brought in modern EDA tools and technologies, which greatly enhanced the design skills and productivity of engineers. Over the years, Tsai has mentored dozens of design engineers who went on to become key leaders in today’s chip design industry. UMC spun off its products division to form several independent fabless design companies, including MediaTek, NovaTek, and Faraday. These spinoffs, together with numerous rising fabless design startup companies, were chaired or directed by Tsai and many of these businesses later developed into major IC design companies. Under his leadership, MediaTek and MediaTek Foundation have sponsored hundreds of collaborative research projects with major universities worldwide, directly impacting thousands of IC design students and practitioners.

Tsai is the Chairman of MediaTek Inc., Hsinchu, Taiwan.