Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Monday, January 19, 2009
I was at the San Jose Tech Museum of Innovation yesterday to see their US-exclusive Leonardo exhibit. It really drives home what a genius Leonardo da Vinci was. He seemed to know everything knowable as of 1500, and the exhibits make it clear that he was a god of mechanical engineering (among many things).
If he were around today, with what's available with electrical and electronic engineering, imagine what he would have created! Who is the da Vinci of our day?
Besides this featured exhibit, the kids I brought and I explored the other Current Exhibits. I was excited to find displays on semiconductor design and manufacturing in the Silicon Workshop.
The design section is sponsored by Cadence and the EDA Consortium, and has hands-on activities showing what I knew to be logic design and physical design. I was excited to explain to the children how a few simple logic gates could be interconnected to control what actions would start the model car, turn on its lights, etc. And I think they enjoyed it, too.
Ask me again in ten years whether this influenced the kids at all to pursue science or engineering. I think it is a good attempt. Props to Cadence and EDAC for creating this to show what we do and inspire the next generation.
(images linked from The Tech web site)
Friday, January 16, 2009
has variously been reported as "just a layoff", or, in this headline, layoffs + executive salary cuts. But if you read the article, the salary cuts apply to everyone who survives the layoff. Exempt employees, which includes engineers and other professionals, will get a 10% pay cut.
Ouch! People would prefer a cut to being laid off, but 10% could be quite a challenge for those who've been good consumers and not such good savers. I'm concerned that these measures will become more common as the economy continues to struggle.
As an aside, the article curiously mentions voluntary pay reduction measures for employees outside North America. What's a "voluntary pay reduction"? Does it mean "sacrifice for the greater good", or "volunteer or else something worse might befall you"?
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
Maybe rather than yet another blog post of 2008 review and 2009 predictions, I'll just flag provocative ones like EETimes.com's Top 20 predictions for semis in 2009 by Mark LaPedus.
Some of my favorite points:
That's a lot of quoting, but there's even more good stuff in the article. The author definitely "names names" of which companies may fail and which will prevail.