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VLSI Design Careers


If you're planning your career in the semiconductor industry, make sure you consider processor design. Now the aspiring VLSI engineers like you can implement the open-source processor RISC-V while learning from the textbooks. But why should a VLSI engineer understand the processor design? Does everyone implement the processor as an RTL designer? In this article, I will address these question... » read more

Firmware Skills Shortage


Good hardware without good software is a waste of silicon, but with so many new processors and accelerator architectures being created, and so many new skills required, companies are finding it hard to hire enough engineers with low-level software expertise to satisfy the demand. Writing compilers, mappers and optimization software does not have the same level of pizazz as developing new AI ... » read more

Hard-To-Hire Engineering Jobs


While the pandemic has hurt many job sectors, the semiconductor industry can't get enough qualified people. And that shortage is expected to persist for years, as companies reach deep into untapped talent pools around the globe. Most in demand are experienced engineers and engineers with hybrid knowledge. Skills in machine learning and artificial intelligence are very desirable. Combined kno... » read more

Bidding War On H-1B Visas?


Good help is hard to find. It's about to get harder—and more expensive. The U.S. tech industry's solution until now has been to leverage expertise from around the world, drawing top graduates and entry-level professionals under the H-1B visa program. Last year, there were 85,000 H-1B visas issued, of which 20,000 are required to hold a U.S. master's degree or higher. There are some exce... » read more

A Different Kind Of Bottleneck


Electronics have always lived in troubling times. There have been threats of outsourcing, not to mention re-outsourcing from the outsourcers, constant pressure from startups from around the globe, pricing pressures, government intervention, technological issues, and rising complexity that is now forcing a complete re-thinking of the supply chain. More recently, the demand has been for mobility,... » read more

President Obama Visits Applied Materials


By John Kania [caption id="attachment_8398" align="alignnone" width="518" caption="Applied Materials CEO Mike Splinter with President Barack Obama as they tour the Austin manufacturing clean room and hear from Applied employee Nilam D. Bhakta-Sahib about the complex chip making process. "][/caption] President Obama rode Air Force One into Austin, Texas, to shine a spotlight on the import... » read more

Where The Jobs Are


The job market for design and verification engineers seems to be exploding. In the past week, listings have been flooding onto jobs boards for LinkedIn semiconductor design groups. The only trouble is engineers may have to move to get the jobs—sometimes halfway around the globe. There have been a bunch of job postings for semiconductor expertise in India, the United Kingdom, as well as pla... » read more

Hiring Begins Again—Slowly


By Ann Mutschler & Ed Sperling After one of the longest downturns in many decades, hiring has started again in parts of the semiconductor industry. No one would call it a hiring boom, and some companies that have been postponing layoffs are still making cuts, but there is definitely is a change under way. This is evident on some of the job boards, which have postings for engineers with pa... » read more