How Quickly Can You Take Your Idea To Chip Design?


Gone are the days of expensive tapeouts only done by commercial companies. Thanks to Tiny Tapeout, students, hobbyists, and more can design a simple ASIC or PCB design and actually send it to a foundry for a small fraction of the usual cost. Learners from all walks of life can use the resources to learn how to design a chip, without signing an NDA or installing licenses, faster than ever before... » read more

Career Transitions


Many people change their career path, sometimes to take on new challenges, sometimes following opportunity or money. As we learn, we develop both expertise and skill sets and in many cases expertise in one area has diminished value in another, meaning that it becomes more difficult to switch as we get older. But there are times when both knowledge and skills can be fully transferred, making the... » read more

Are In-Person Conferences Sustainable?


DAC/Semicon are now over, and while I missed a large part of it due to a stomach bug, I increasingly have a stale taste in my mouth about in-person conferences in general. Let's split things up – an event such as DAC is both an academic conference and a trade show. It has been that way almost since its inception 60 years ago. There are many other conferences that are pure conferences, and the... » read more

Rethinking Engineering Education In The U.S.


The CHIPS Act, as well as the ongoing need for talent, is causing both industry and academia in America to rethink engineering education, resulting in new approaches and stronger partnerships. As an example, Arizona State University (ASU) now has a Secure, Trusted, and Assured Microelectronics Center (STAM). The center offers an interdisciplinary approach to learning secure and trusted semic... » read more

Need Design Talent? Create a Contest


Amid a labor crunch for qualified engineers, semiconductor ecosystem participants are coming up with new strategies to entice university students, such as design competitions. In one design competition sponsored by Renesas earlier this year for European university students and their educators, teams were tasked with building a self-guided robot that could drive along a track in a virtual sim... » read more

Engineers’ Experiences Around The World


As CTO, I see my role partially as strengthening the engineering community through program reviews, engineering education programs, conferences, seminars, and the product life cycle process at KLA. I also think it is critically important to spark engineering enthusiasm – helping engineers rediscover the excitement and curiosity that helps drive innovation. When inspired to create, engineers c... » read more

Education Vs. Training


While writing my recent articles on the subject of training, a number of people pointed out that training and education are not the same thing. In a very simple sense, training is defined to be learning a skill or behavior that enables you to 'do' something, whereas education is the acquisition of knowledge from study or training. These definitions leave me cold and, in my mind, miss a very ... » read more

Steering The Semiconductor Industry


Progress in semiconductors has been one of the most successful engineering feats, and the industry has ridden an exponential curve longer than anything else in history. It is also a highly conservative industry that has pushed away many disruptive changes in favor of small incremental changes that minimize risk. There have been significant changes over the decades, and they often required a ... » read more

What Is Intern Reading Club?


As the summer winds down, interns are busy completing their assigned projects and preparing their end of summer presentations. These presentations have been a rite of passage for interns on the Pointwise team for many years and gives each intern a chance to show off what they learned and accomplished. And the rest of the team gets to hear all the details of what they've been working on. Anothe... » read more

Rethink, Not Replicate


We should start to call COVID the Great Disrupter. It caused many things to change, ranging from how the industry has been tackling education, to supply chains, the ability to find products in stores, and the pricing and availability of materials, workers, and office space. I can't see anyone fully trusting just-in-time supply chains anymore, even though they sometimes provided financial advant... » read more

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