Thursday, June 21, 2007

More Good News: Analog Hot!

Despite problems due to a weak handset market, analog semiconductor sales are projected to keep going up.

I can't help but wonder about the problems in the cell phone market. I blame the FCC.

WTRS Press Release as News: "wireless connectivity to be the single most important attribute for consumer electronics growth"

They say what we already know - people would rather not have wires on their products. I wonder how much money it took to figure that out?

This is a very good time to be in UWB. This stuff is going to be everywhere starting late this year.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

CellAntenna to FCC: "Let's Jam!"

actually sells a line of cellular jamming devices that are not currently legal in the US unless you work for the Feds. (note the domain name shift - they can sell these in Europe). Of course the primary justification for selling these is to help first responders block remote bomb detonation.

Informal polling in Austin has shown that 100% of respondents are against remote bomb detonation by cellular phone so I think the public is behind the idea in that respect. The problem is that pretty soon these are appearing in restaurants and symphonies and once that happens, how long is it until some joker starts jamming the wireless microphones at your local karaoke bar?

Audio-Technica uses UWB to Increase Fidelity of Wireless Microphones. Karaoke Fans Rejoice Around the Globe!

We are just on the cusp of seeing what can be done with UWB (Ultra-Wide Band) technology. From wireless USB to home media applications, the possibilities are very exciting.

Now if only they could use it to make people actually sound better.

Monday, June 18, 2007

EE Times: How to Keep Your Engineers Happy (My Idea: COOKIES!)

This is an interesting, if not totally obvious article on the subject of job change. You might want to read it, but I can boil it down for you: people change jobs when they don't like something and they stay at a job when things are going well for them.

There are other factors that can come up that can alter the equation, but mostly engineers want to be left to do their engineerin' and not get caught up in politics, tedium and other drama.

Alereon Releases New and Improved UWB Solution (Now with More Gigahertz!)

The good folks at Alereon have a new UWB product that is legal in all or nearly all parts of the world.

This is very good news: I can see someone getting stopped by customs in some distant land and searched based on the suspicion that their UWB controller violates local spectrum allocation laws. Things get dicey until the traveler disassembles their laptop and shows the local gendarmes the Alereon name printed on the ASIC.

Seriously, if you design UWB chips and you want a job in Austin then we definitely need to talk.

The CEO of Alereon has a blog..

FCC: "The 1980's called and they want their cell phones back"

The suits in Washington are going to turn off your ancient analog cellular telephones in early 2008. Both people still using this technology have filed appeals.

Stock Market Shocker!: Some Stocks Up, Some Stocks Down...

Yes, as hard as it is to believe, some stocks are going up while others are going down and still others are neither going up nor down. Analog seems to be going up. Good thing, I mean, what else are we going to do?

Samsung Opens New Fully Automated $3.5B Fab in Austin. Recruiter Impressed by Free 1GB Flash Drive

So last Thursday (June 14th) I attended the ribbon cutting ceremony at the new Samsung fab in North Austin. The technology is actually very neat, it is a fully automated 300mm NAND fab that needs very few people to actually run it.

As if that was not impressive enough, the Governor was there, the Mayor, a Senator and some of the top Samsung Executives. I suppose I could go look up everyones name and act like I know off the top of my head, but I am guessing that those who care, already know.

The coolest parts were:
4. The Bald Eagle swooping over the VIP seating area during the national anthem.
3. LeAnn Rimes singing the anthem
2. Sitting in the VIP area because recruiters "know everyone" and it was REALLY hot!
1. Getting a free Samsung 1GB flash drive as a departing gift.