Background: Laying the foundation.
The stories you have heard are probably true. Yes, I did manage to fuse the
entire house as a child, and yes, I did demonstrate the effects of back-EMF
using fellow pupils. At the age of 15, I was running sound and light rigs,
organizing video productions, and building my own equipment.
Schooled in the best British engineering tradition, culminating in a top
degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Manchester University,
the path was set.
After a brief, but enjoyable dabble with broadcast television and
other interesting fields, I joined Digital Equipment Corporation.
My work as a hardware design engineer at Digital's Jerusalem facility provided the
opportunity to put my skills to full use.
Before long, I was wearing four hats at the DEC facility; I was one of the
designers of the 21143 PCI Ethernet chip; I was working with FAEs and their
customers helping them to identify problems and to get their designs working
well; I was directing the schematic and layout design of the evaluation cards
which were used to test new chips, and as a basis for our customers to design
their own products, and, finally, I became the first stop where new chip
designs - hot from the FAB, were put through their paces to find all the
obvious and semi-obvious problems before testing started in full.
Digital 21143 Chip
Everyone has a different benchmark by which they measure success, but, for me,
there were two.
The first was as a result of our leadership in the ACPI field - which, for
network chip designers meant designing a chip which could stay awake when
the whole computer was turned off, keep an eye on the network for any data
packets that the computer would want to see, store them, and wake the computer
up to deal with them.
Our achievement was not only in bringing the first such chip to silicon,
beating the opposition (then Intel and 3com) by many months - but also being
the only company who could demonstrate this capability at the ACPI conference.
The other benchmark that I use is that a chip that I helped design made it into the
iMac. For many people, that is as clear a sign as any of being 'best in class'.
The break-up of DEC in 1998, and associated acquisition of my division by Intel,
gave me the perfect jumping board as a freelance consultant.
In the years since, I've generally worked on the principle of having one main
customer, and several smaller customers projects. Work for the main customer is
typically 3 to 5 days per week, and would normally be the design of a major
project, with the remaining time available for the smaller projects - such as
assisting an existing design team.
You can find out more about my work on the skills page. Please feel free
to make contact by e-mail.