Fujino recalls the time students came to her to report an attendee passed out in the men’s room. “They called Dr. Laura,” said the publishing specialist, who seems omnipresent at the event.
She helped revive him and insisted he get medical attention rather than go back to his room or to an evening session. He wound up in a critical care unit. “He just didn’t look good to me--now that guy is beholden to me that I saved his life,” she said.
These days the biggest problem is the difficulty getting U.S. visas, especially for presenters born in China or Iran. One of her students arranged for a speaker to appear via Skype video this year when he could not get his visa in time.
Both Ken and Laura gave a nod to Lew Winner, a crusty technical writer who was managing ISSCC when they started coming 24 years ago. He established the authoritative format for the printed proceedings that is still in use today.
“Lew was in charge of everything and sometimes he would ask me, ‘Honey, do you think you could give me a hand,’” she recalled. “ISSCC was always the week of Valentine’s Day back then, and he would invite Ken and I out and we would have a lovely dinner--he was very sweet, but tough as nails on the outside,” she said.
In an electronics industry increasingly focused on apps. Smith recalls the early days of chip design. In the mid-1960’s the electronics curriculum at UT focused on physics, math—and vacuum tubes.
“When I came along there was a need to teach solid state design, but it was not supported by the vacuum tube gurus--they just hired more physicists,” said Smith who co-authored a text on microelectronics. “There was a year or two when students learned about electronics without knowing what they would do with it,” he said.
“I suggested we needed a new second-year course to introduce electronics and not talk about physics particularly, just present simple rules of transistors,” Smith recalled. “We tried to redefine the basics for EEs,” he said.
With short courses, tutorials—and even iOS and Android apps in beta—that work is still going on at ISSCC a quarter century later.
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.