Dealing with Bits Flipped- From the Weak Write Test Mode Saga

In Circuits and Systems I, Prof Emad informed the class that sign matters. A student requesting to receive partial credit on an exam question because she only got the sign wrong would receive no mercy. “What’s the difference between + 5 Volts and – 5 Volts?” Prof Emad pointedly stated, “10 Volts.” Ever since Ben…

Three Patents for PLD–That was Good

Let me share my experiences with Programmable Logic Devices (PLDs). Intel had a small group down in Folsom working on this technology. Because of re-orgs, my wife and I moved to Folsom and we lived down for eight years (1988-1994). As part of that team I came up with  three patents.  And it was just…

Hardware to Bandwidth to Software Flipped Around

So here’s another occasion with a similar scenario where a small kludge solution turns a complicated design into something really easy but it requires a separate perspective on the problem. This is from my work on the CPU debug team at Intel, circa 2007. Engineers in my group were trying to resolve a problem. We…

First Week Impact

My approach to engineering craft has evolved to knowing when the easy solution exists and grabbing that instead of going with a complicated solution. Sometimes that’s a hack or sometimes it’s a different perspective.  A newbie’s perspective can often provide that different perspective. Within my first week at Intel I surprisingly contributed immediately to my…

Six Months to Satisfaction- Large Team Frustrations

Q: What’s your most frustrating experiences as an engineer? A: Basically not being listened to. Like most people as an engineer not being listened to ranks up at the top of my frustration. While it’s easy to manage this in a one on one working relationship it becomes much harder in a larger team. Let…

Technical Speak- From the Weak Write Test Mode Saga

“You have excellent PowerPoint skills.” Joe Schutz had requested two slides on Weak Write Test Mode to include in a presentation to his manager. On loan to Joe’s microprocessor design team I reported into him via Doug Guddat who managed the memory design group. Joe had asked me directly for the slides and I delivered….