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Cirrus Logic Co-Founder Dead At 71

Austin, Texas – Michael
L. Hackworth, 71, chairman and co-founder of consumer electronics IC chip maker

Cirrus Logic

, died at his home in Saratoga.
Calif., April 21, the company said.

In creating Cirrus
Logic, Hackworth is credited with leading the way for the “fabless
semiconductor” industry, and was quoted: “Real men really don’t need fabs.”

The company’s
audio processors and audio converters are found in many professional audio and
consumer entertainment products, including portable media players, home-theater
receivers, TVs and set-top box hardware.

In the past,
Cirrus Logic had also designed and sold modem controllers, hard-disk controller
chips, CD-drive controller chips, PC sound-card controllers and PC graphics

Hackworth became chairman
of the board of Cirrus Logic in July 1997. Between March 5 and May 16, 2007,
Hackworth was the company’s acting president and CEO. He continued to support
Dr. Jason Rhode, current president and CEO, as an employee of the company until
July 27, 2007, and acted as a consultant to the company until Sept. 30, 2007.

He previously
served as president and CEO of Cirrus Logic from January 1985 to June 1998 and
continued to serve as CEO until February 1999.

Prior to working
at Cirrus Logic, Hackworth spent 31 years with Signetics, a subsidiary of N.V.
Philips; Motorola Semiconductor; and Fairchild Semiconductor. 

Hackworth was also
the co-founder of Tymphany, a provider of audio transducers for loudspeakers. He
served as CEO between 2002 and May 2007, and as a director and chairman of the board
from 2002 until October 2008. 

co-founded Cirrus Logic in 1985. The company was one of the pioneers of the
fabless business model and led its growth to over $1billion in annual revenue
in the ten years from its founding. 

Hackworth was also
noteworthy for his work within the community. His efforts focused largely on arts
and learning; including serving as The University of Santa Clara and its
Markkula Center for Applied Ethics advisory board chair, The Tech Museum of
Innovation board member and former chair, and Montalvo Arts Center board member. 

During his tenure
as CEO, he also led Cirrus Logic to sponsor such programs as the San Jose
Children’s Shelter, the Second Harvest Food Bank and Joint Venture Silicon

Hackworth resided
in Saratoga with his wife, Joan.

A native of
Silicon Valley (San Mateo), Hackworth held a degree in engineering from Santa
Clara University, class of 1963.