Burrell Smith

Computer Designer

1955 –


Who is Burrell Smith?

Burrell Carver Smith is an American engineer who, while working at Apple Computer, designed the motherboard for the original Macintosh. He was Apple employee #282, and was hired in February, 1979, initially as an Apple II service technician. He also designed the motherboard for Apple's LaserWriter, and designed a low cost version of the Apple II that eventually became the Apple IIe, using the same innovative design techniques that he pioneered with the Mac.

Burrell was working in Apple's service department when he helped Bill Atkinson add more memory to an Apple II computer in an innovative fashion. Bill recommended him to Jef Raskin, who was looking for a hardware engineer to help him with his newly formed Macintosh project. As a member of the design team, Burrell designed five different motherboards during the course of Macintosh development, all of which used techniques based on Programmable Array Logic chips to achieve maximum functionality with a minimal chip count.

Burrell left the company before releasing Apple's "Turbo Mac" design platform, which included an internal hard drive and a further simplified chipset.

He was later a co-founder of Radius Corp, and is retired and living in Palo Alto.

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Dec 16, 1955
  • United States of America
  • Co-Founder, Radius
  • Apple

on July 23, 2013


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