In the late 1980s, Professors Claude Berrou and Alain Glavieux, Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications (ENST) de Bretagne in Brest, France, developed a new family of error-correction codes, called turbo codes, and forever changed the field of digital communications. They then extended the turbo code principle to joint detection and decoding processing. Hailed as a milestone in communication technology, their discovery allowed researchers to overcome what had seemed to be the practical limits on the maximum rate at which coding systems could operate. Turbo codes have since been widely adopted in such applications as mobile telephony and satellite links.
Professor Berrou joined ENST in 1978 as professor and deputy head of the electronics department. He helped organize ENST's curriculum in physics and electronics and led the development of the Laboratory for Integrated Circuits. A member of the IEEE, Professor Berrou has written or co-written eight patents and has contributed to more than 40 publications. In addition to the honors he has received with Professor Glavieux, Professor Berrou has been awarded the Médaille Ampère of the Société des Electriciens et des Electroniciens.
Professors Berrou and Glavieux have received the Stephen O. Rice Award for best paper in the IEEE Transactions on Communications, the IEEE Information Theory Society Paper Award and an IEEE Information Theory Society Golden Jubilee Award for Technological Innovation.