Jerald (Jerry) Fishman, the CEO of Analog Devices Inc., passed away last week at age 67. I won't go through the details; you can read them at the ADI website as well as the story in EE Times. But as someone who worked at ADI for many years, and who sat in meetings with Jerry (I made it my business to always stay at the back!), I'll add a few personal observations.
He had been at ADI for 41 years, starting out in product marketing. Certainly, that's a very long time to be at one company, but longevity of employment is not that unusual in analog-centric IC companies; I've met many 15-, 20-, and 25-year single-employer veterans in the industry.
Jerry never positioned himself as a chip designer gone into management, which he wasn't (although he did have BS and MS EE degrees). Instead, he was a no-nonsense, plain-speaking manager who knew that marketers sometimes fell so in love with their products that they became blind to reality or sometimes projected a few data points to the desired conclusion. I heard him challenge them many times, asking on what basis they had reached their conclusions.
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.