An engineer at heart, Bogen is taking a systems approach at Energy Micro, focusing closely on a handful of customers and their issues.
“For me to connect with customer and understand the app is important,” he said. “You need to understand the right problem to solve—you can’t do that through a distributor—and the worst thing you can do is be almost right,” he said.
Bogen co-developed the AVR microcontroller at the Norway Institute of Technology. “Our goal was to get close to a RISC processor with CISC code density and C-language programmability,” he said.
The team pitched the design to Atmel’s chief executive nearly 18 years ago.
A ten-minute pitch at Atmel turned into an 18 year stay for Bogen.
“He said that we had ten minutes to convince him it was a $100 million/year business,” Bogen recalled. “We had 45 transparencies and the last one said it was a $100 million/year business, so we turned the pile upside down and showed the last one first.
“We never told him we meant 100 million Norwegian Krone--about US$16 million,” he quipped.
As it turned out, the AVR chips brought in US$100 million/year for Atmel after about five years in the market.
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