I don't know why Intel's chairman, Craig Barrett, took a cheap shot at me and my company, Cypress Semiconductor, in EE Times (see July 18, page 1), but he should have at least used a few of Intel's army of PR flacks to get his numbers straight.
Regarding Barrett's comments to the effect that Cypress was a $500 million company in 1993 when I wrote my book, No Excuses Management, and still is the same size, the facts are these: In 1993, when I wrote the book, Cypress posted $304.5 million in revenue. Last year, Cypress posted $948.4 million in revenue, which works out to a 12 percent compound growth rate from 1993 through 2004. During the same period, the Semiconductor Industry Association reported $77.3 billion total industry revenue in 1993 and $213 billion in 2004, a 10.7 percent compound growth rate.
We are proud of our entrepreneurial heritage, which has included inventing and bringing to market the mixed-signal Programmable System-on-Chip (PSoC) through our internal startup company, Cypress Microsystems in Seattle, and bringing to market the world's most efficient production silicon solar cell through SunPower Corp., another closely held startup.
Intel's success is admirable, but it shouldn't demean the success of others-especially with bogus statistics.
T.J. Rodgers, President and CEO
Cypress Semiconductor Corp., San Jose, Calif.
Digital output unnecessary for high-resolution DVD audio
I think James McPherson and the sales rep he cites in his letter (see July 4, page 30) missed something when James returned his DVD audio player because the digital outs were disabled when playing high-resolution DVD audio and SACD disks. High-resolution DVD audio/SACD players have really good D/A converters. So you should use them.
Most high-resolution systems have six analog outputs using these really good converters. The digital output is not capable of the bandwidth required for high resolution and is therefore encrypted. Use the digital output on a DVD audio/SACD player and you won't find much better quality than you would with a 5.1 surround movie. The industry's approach makes sense. On high-resolution disks, manufacturers disable the inferior digital output but allow you to listen to those great converters. The problem is, most places selling these players and disks don't understand that. I asked at a Future Shop in Canada if they could provide an SACD or DVD audio demo. They couldn't. The guy in the department didn't even know what it was, and yet he sold it.
It's possible to get really high-quality receivers these days inexpensively on eBay that were made before receivers with digital inputs. Most people believe they need digital inputs to achieve the best quality, when you really need 5.1 analog inputs and a DVD audio/SACD player with 5.1 analog outputs.
Victoria, British Columbia
Broadband-over-power lines could interfere with radios
Your write-up on broadband-over-power lines (see July 25, page 26) fails to even mention the negative side of BPL: its tremendous pollution potential across the HF and VHF spectrum.
Many companies see profits from BPL without considering its demonstrated significant interference. EE Times should try to present a balanced view. After all, many of your readers are also hams, who will be severely impacted if BPL is widely implemented in its present form.
Robert S. Duggan Jr.
Electronics Engineer (retired)
Your article on broadband-over-power lines was very interesting. However, you left out a very important item.
BPL is a terrible cause of radio interference. It not only kills public emergency communication and amateur radio operation, but it is license-free and the Federal Communications Commission chose to be very lax in proper maintenance of its operation.
This should be brought to the attention of the public.
Murray Hill, N.J.