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 What Would Joe Do?

Posts Tagged ‘Graham Bell’

Ajoy Bose: The Man Behind the Microchip

Thursday, March 10th, 2016


You would probably have learned more about Ajoy Bose
by reading his biography than by attending Jim Hogan’s gentle exercise in collegiality on Tuesday night, March 1st, in Silicon Valley. The conversation between these two giants of EDA, hosted by EDAC as part of DVCon week, was consistently unstructured, whimsical and seemingly without outline.

The next day, I sat in a coffee shop and struggled to find a handle with which to write a coherent summary of the previous night’s random access memory album. But that handle would not reveal itself.

Then I happened to glance over to a nearby table where another caffeine addict was buried in a book: The Man Behind the Microchip. I asked the addict who exactly was the subject of the book and the answer came back: Robert Noyce.

So Robert Noyce is the man behind the microchip, I pondered. The only man behind the microchip? Like Steve Jobs invented the iPod/iPad/iPhone? Or Thomas Edison invented the electric light?

No wonder, I realized, it was hard to get a handle on the previous night’s Hogan/Bose interview. They didn’t do anything. Robert Noyce did it all. And without help. Hogan and Bose did nothing, and ergo had nothing to offer their audience.

These two were not part of a vast conspiracy of contributors, all adding their particular drips and drops of innovation into the trickle of technology, that rolled into a small creek of creativity, that ran into a moderate-sized stream of science-turned-engineering, which poured into a roaring river of real change, which crashed into a seething sea of twenty-first century digital life.

Of course, that’s nonsense. Robert Noyce did not do everything, and Hogan and Bose did not do nothing.


Master & Commander: DVCon’s Stan Krolikoski

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013


Now in its 25th year, DVCon is coming up in a couple of weeks in Silicon Valley. In terms of process nodes, 25 years is about twelve generations. In terms of dog years, it’s about four generations. In terms of the life of Stan Krolikoski, however, 25 years is only part of one career. It’s also the amount of time Stan’s been going to DVCon, even though it had a different name when he attended the first such conference back in 1988.

When I spoke with Stan by phone earlier this week, I asked if he’s been to every single conference since then. He laughed and said, “Absolutely! Looking back to 1988 – despite all of the mergers, and the coming together of various conferences, and the end of the HDL wars – I’ve been to every one of them!”

There’s nobody else who’s been to them all? Stan laughed again, “I don’t think so. They’ve either retired, or left the industry. Although I do think Dennis Brophy has been coming for a long time, but probably not all the way back to the beginning.”

Where was the first conference held in 1988? Stan said, “It was in Newport Beach. Why? Who knows. Back in the day, a number of meetings were held in Newport Beach. Maybe it was a destination, or maybe it was because there were a lot of defense contractors in the area. Remember that VHDL-87 had just come out and the language had a connection to the Department of Defense.”


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