Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Saluting the Father of our Foundry

Tsmc factory hsinchu A well-deserved congratulations to Dr. Morris Chang, recipient of the 2011 IEEE Medal of Honor. IEEE Spectrum magazine has published a fascinating profile of his professional life in Morris Chang: Foundry Father - IEEE Spectrum.

The article quotes numerous industry luminaries to frame his impact. It's hard to overstate what Dr. Chang's accomplishments have done for so many of the industries that we work in: fabless semiconductor, EDA, ASIC, ... I found the article to be full of fascinating tidbits, such as

  • His first job paid $480 per month.
  • At the beginning, he was a self-taught semiconductor engineer. He spent countless hours after work to learn about new fields.
  • He was a highly successful TI executive before "starting over" to create a new industry from scratch in Taiwan.
  • On several occasions, he left good companies when things weren't working out, with no immediate job prospects. He had the confidence that he'd find a good opportunity.
  • Dr. Chang didn't become fabulously wealthy from founding TSMC! He's well-off, for sure, but a US executive would have made sure to ensure his success first.

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