Data center luminary Luiz André Barroso passed away unexpectedly on September 16.

Aged 59, Barroso joined Google in 2001 and was responsible for overhauling the company's data center design, fundamentally changing the wider industry. Prior to joining Google, he worked at Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) designing the first multi-core CPU.

Luiz André Barroso
– Luiz André Barroso

Barroso cowrote The Datacenter as a Computer with Google fellow Urs Hölzle, laying out their philosophy of treating data centers as singular warehouse-scale machines. He then led a team working on custom gear within the data center, helping develop some of the world's most efficient data centers.

"During the pandemic, he was one of the key people forging consensus around Bluetooth-based contact tracing, which a recent Nature paper estimated to have saved 10,000 lives in the UK alone," Hölzle said in a LinkedIn post.

"But Luiz was much more than a computer scientist, though he was always very modest about his talents. He was an accomplished guitar player and just recently completed an album with musical legends Zeca Assumpção and Sergio Reze.

"When I think about all that Luiz has accomplished, it’s more than most could do in several lifetimes. And he did it with more grace and warmth than almost anyone. I will miss you, Luiz."