SAN JOSE, Calif.--It is a constant source of irritation and
embarrassment to some that the region consistently ranked among the top
25 wealthiest in the country has a fattening slice of its populace
that is struggling.
One of every 10 Santa Clara and San Mateo County residents relies on the Second
Harvest Food Bank for meals today. This is a region home to Intel,
Google, Apple, Oracle and Facebook, among countless other great technology
In addition, "There are gaps in education and there are gaps in
health," says Kevin Lyman, senior vice president of human resources at
Altera Corp., headquartered here.
[Get a 10% discount on ARM TechCon 2012 conference passes by using promo code EDIT. Click here to learn about the show and register.]
Unfortunately, these gaps aren't new, and it's prompting calls for
the wealthiest (the way less than 1 percent) to pony up,
many are, including Intel co-founder and big-time
philanthropist Gordon Moore.
Companies too, while not in the business of philanthropy, seem to
feel a quiet alarm that the next generation of employees isn't going
to be prepared.
Wednesday (Oct. 11), Altera's year-old
Altera Foundation will give out
its first grant as part of a larger--and, Lyman says more
strategic--effort to nurture the next generation of innovation. The
foundation is granting $500,000 to the nearby Hughes Elementary
School to seed a facility that will have whiteboard-type devices in
the classrooms and tablets in the hands of the 500 students in the
next three years. The grant also will help in teacher training with
the new media, and the Altera Foundation has a seat on the advisory
Lyman, who sits on the foundation's board, notes that the partnership envisions a "force multiplier" that will see such technology propagated throughout the Santa Clara County School District, which has 15,000 students and nearly 675 teachers.
Not all companies are great community partners.
"Many companies are highly committed to their communities and others
do less than they might," Lyman said.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.