Bob Pease

Bob Pease

Analogbydesign Vin-1

Sad news, Bob Pease died yesterday –

Bob Pease (Robert A. Pease) was an analog integrated circuit design expert and technical author. He has designed several very successful integrated circuits, many of them in continuous production for multiple decades. These include the LM331 voltage to frequency converter,and the LM337 adjustable voltage regulator.

Pease obtained a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering (BSEE) degree from MIT in 1961. He started work in the early 1960s at George A. Philbrick Researches (GAP-R). GAP-R pioneered the first reasonable-cost, mass-produced op amp: the K2-W. At GAP-R, Pease developed many high-performance op amps, built with discrete solid-state components.

In 1976 Pease moved to National Semiconductor as a designer and applications engineer, advancing to staff scientist until his departure in 2009. During his tenure there, he began writing a continuing popular monthly column entitled “Pease Porridge” in Electronic Design Magazine about his experiences in the world of electronic design and application.
He was the author of eight books, including Troubleshooting Analog Circuits, and holds 21 patents.

His other interests included hiking and biking in remote places, and working on his old Volkswagen Beetle, to which he often referred in his columns.

Bob was killed in a car crash, while not wearing a seat belt, on 19 June 2011 after attending the memorial service of Jim Williams (analog designer), another renowned staff scientist working at Linear Technology.

His show Analog by Design inspired us to create “Ask an Engineer” that I do every week with Ladyada.

20 thoughts on “Bob Pease

  1. Ed Reed says:

    Is it necessary to point out he was not wearing a seat belt in this article?  Awareness is important but not the right time and place IMO.

    1. Anonymous says:

      @google-cdc7020bdc9d8d10ca56657238fb236e:disqus that’s directly from the wikipedia entry. i think it’s a good reminder to buckle up too.

      1. Michael A. Covington says:

        According to one of the other articles, the crash was quite mysterious — in a driveway — and there is suspicion he had a stroke or heart attack while driving.

  2. Steve Taylor says:

    I met Bob a few years ago on a tour in the UK, and he was in person as aimiable in real life as he always seemed  in his print columns. His books on analog engineering will remain in my library for ever. A sad loss to the electronic design world and all of those that new him.

  3. Patrick Magee says:

    Dang! It’s hard to believe both Bobs (Pease and Widlar) are gone now. While working at National in the mid ’70s I came into regular contact with both and they really inspired me. They were always down to earth and willing to take the time to explain their circuitry to a lowly Technician right out of school.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I’m angry and sad.  Pease wrote a great book about teaching his kids to drive, and now he goes and gets himself killed.  To be fair, I don’t know that a seat belt would have saved him, but he should have been wearing one.

    How very sad, to lose a man who spent his whole career trying to help us all to be better engineers. I enjoyed his columns, learning way more about good analog design than I ever thought I could from Pease. The columns were great – Andy Rooney with an EE degree and none of the meanness.

    RIP Pease, we’ll all miss you.

  5. Ren Tescher says:

    I exchanged a couple of emails with Bob a few years ago, on the subject of why we drive on the right side of the road.  Sort of like an ant talking to full grown human.  I keep hoping to “update” his method of warning other drivers their headlight or taillight is out (he used a homemade cardboard sign). I’m thinking of building an LED banner to do such.

    Rest in Peace Bob.

  6. Michael A. Covington says:

    In honor of Bob, build something with one of the chips he designed. 

  7. johngineer says:

    I never met Mr. Pease, but I knew some of the documentation he wrote quite well. His “what’s all this about *insert topic here*, anyhow?” app notes/articles were prosaic and informative. I kept and saved them, and still read them once in awhile. Today I re-read them again. People like Mr. Pease were and are special. It takes a special kind of person who can make you understand a subject that you were previously unfamiliar with, while at the same time making you feel like you’re hearing a story rather than receiving a lecture.

    He will be dearly missed by many, but his incredibly body of work will live on. On that note, I’d love to see his schematic drawings in a museum or gallery. They were casually spectacular! :)

    In case you’re interested, here are the articles I mentioned:,1563,0,00.html

  8. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Bob, for the inspiration and teaching.

    My old boss used to work with Bob. National had a technical support phone line, and the less-senior engineers would fight to answer it before Bob did – because if he did, the phone call would enviably devolve in to a “you’re trying to do what with what?” and Bob would (helpfully, but loudly) explain why such an idea was stupid and what a better solution would be. Great help, but not the best PR for National :-) If only those people knew who they were talking to and where he was coming from :-)

    You’ll be missed, Bob.

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