Attributions in the Engineering Community—From the Weak Write Test Mode Saga

I had approximately 500 Pentium (P54CS) parts that uniquely failed the Weak Write Test Mode (WWTM.)  In the lab I ran the test on an IMS debug tester to diagnose the failing cell location–engineers always want more data. I talked to engineering managers regarding additional tests. The resulting list would require help from other engineering…

My First Patent–From the Weak Write Test Mode Saga

Not all great ideas turn into patents; they simply are not novel enough to warrant the effort. Some ideas are so great that a company decides to keep them as a trade secret. The following exchange I had with Greg Taylor instructed me on how to determine if an invention should be patented: “Would other…

Being Wooed as Opposed to Grilled–My Intel Interview

After hearing that I had interviewed for a position at Intel Corporation, my Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) classmate, Scott Robinson, remarked “I still have the grill marks.” Scott had joined Intel a year ahead of me and his comment referred to the intensive questioning he had experienced during his interview. While I was not puzzled…

Diagnosis–Exactly Where and What is that Needle?

At IBM, I became fascinated with finding defects in semiconductor devices. For most of my professional life I have focused on testing for defects in a manufacturing setting. When in this setting, you want to determine yes or no; often referred to as “no/go” testing. The test is run–and if “no,” you stop, if “yes,”…

When I Really learned Ohm’s Law

Doc Fry first taught me Ohm’s Law; V=IxR. As a high school senior I joined my younger sister Margaret in Introduction to Electronics. For labs we played with vacuum tubes, voltage sources, resistors. I recall the countless times we had a mess of wires on our breadboard and nothing worked. We quickly learned the first…

I Am My Parents’ Daughter–A Female Engineer

My parents, Betty and Ray, met in New York City at Newman Club, a Catholic social group for young adults. They also had a mutual interest in the nascent sport of downhill skiing. Some of the Newman Club members planned ski trips; it was not a formal club per my Dad’s recollection. My maternal grandmother,…