Peter Jones and wife moved from
the U.K. to Palo Alto three years ago. He works for Atmel, as he did in the U.K. Here, he
is the vice president and general manager of the company's
microcontroller and touch business units.
"From a personal side, the Valley still has a lot of history, a lot
of culture, a lot of core competency and expertise in the field,"
Jones said. "It's a still a place that stimulates and pushes
"It also attracts a talented bunch of engineers and innovators from
all over the world. The skill sets require to to do great design are
still very much here and still coming in here."
"I think in general people want to come and live and work here to be
a part of something that succeeds, not just for the climate. And
people who make the effort to come and work from a different part of
the tend tend to be successful."
"From a personal note, for whatever reason, when I graduated I ended
up in semiconductors. In 20 years in semiconductors in Europe, you
realize you want to work in the place where it all started. It may
not be the same as it was 20 years ago, but it's still a great place
to be when you work in silicon."
Does place matter when most design is done with global teams working
wherever the sun's up? It's a two-edged sword, according to Jones:
"Doing support work remotely, doing mechanical design remotely is
OK. But what stimulates creative is having people here sharing
similar objectives," he said. "Even with today's technology, it's
quite a bit harder to do without face-to-face time."