Donald Lloyd Watts was born on October 2, 1961 in London, England. Raised in Madison, Wisconsin, and Kingston, Ontario, he received the B.Sc. degree (Engineering Physics) from Queen’s University in 1984, the M.A.Sc degree (Electrical Engineering) from Simon Fraser University in 1989, and the Ph.D. degree (Electrical Engineering) from the California Institute of Technology in 1992, where he studied with Silicon Valley pioneer Carver Mead.
He has worked as an engineer at Microtel Pacific Research, Synaptics, and Arithmos. In 1997, he joined Paul Allen’s Interval Research Corporation and continued his research on reverse-engineering the human auditory pathway. In 2000, he founded Audience, Inc., to commercialize his research, with investment from Paul Allen, Carver Mead, and Allan Crawford. He served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer from 2000-2005, raising $10M in venture capital financing, and leading the development of the company’s core technologies.
In 2005, he transitioned to the role of Audience’s Chief Technology Officer, and in 2011 he became Chief Scientist. In 2013, he retired from Audience. In 2008, he wrote and published The Flow of Time and Money, and in 2013, he produced the documentary film The Founding of Audience.
In 2013, he founded Neocortix, Inc., and currently serves as Founder and CEO.