Thomas Rex Sohmers: Proof that Youth Is Not a Hindrance to Success

Thomas Rex Sohmers, the co-founder and current CEO of Rex Computing, is proof that youth is not a hindrance to success in the highly competitive world of computers. But he is a brilliant kid who started working at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) doing military research when he was just 13 years old; he worked with embedded computing systems.

By the time he was 18, he was the founder and CEO of his own computing company. He is also a recipient of Peter Thiel’s 20 Under 20 Fellowship (2013) – truly, an impressive feat for a teenager.

While at MIT, he soon discovered that his passion was in the creation of low-cost yet high-performance computing systems. He also realized that the principles and practices of embedded computing have significant potential impact on the challenges of exascale-class computing; the challenges include balancing overall scalability and power efficiency on one hand and performance demands on the other hand, both for hardware and software.

With the $100,000 grant from Peter Thiel, Sohmers co-founded Rex Computing with Paul Sebexen, a Thiel Fellow and the company’s current chief technology officer. The start-up has also received $1.25 million from Founders Fund, a Thiel co-founded venture capital fund.

What makes Rex Computing’s chips stand out from the competition? The chips use less power – Sohmers assert these use just 1/20 of Intel’s power requirement – because of the absence of the standard block of circuitry. These use software in managing their memory banks instead, thus, making it possible to remove the standard circuitry.

The result: Chips with the same computational power as the standard chips today but with smaller sizes and lesser power requirements. The chips are called Neo, which have new architecture, core design, and instruction set.

At his young age, Sohmers has created chips with significant impact on the computing world. Server chips that require less energy could benefit cloud companies, such as Amazon and Google, with servers that gobble up electricity by the millions.


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