Brown acknowledged that “some of our customers are worried that we may commoditize” their chips [or systems]. However, he quickly added, “commoditization will happen anyway, whether they use us or not.”
When it comes to the resignation of a high-profile executive, the story of Chen last week took an unconventional path. His departure involved no CEO thanking the departing executive for his service, nor did the ex-executive offer a cover story about pursuing “personal interests.” Chen simply noted that “the company's CEO decided that he and I have different visions for the company, and so we parted ways.” He added, however, “This abrupt development was unexpected.” Asked about “differences in visions,” Chen said, “I don’t know. You have to ask the company.”
Meanwhile, CEO Brown insisted that there are no plans for changes in the company’s business model or vision.
Chen had worked at Sensor Platforms for more than five years. He helped reshape the company away from semiconductors, focused on developing and selling algorithms and software platforms. He played a public role as an evangelist of the company’s technology.
Chen was identified by EE Times last year as one of the top 40 innovators to watch.
Junko, the business model of Sensor Platforms (SP) is basically 'fix it in software' to deal with sensor out put challenges -noise, lack of linearity, combining and correlating sensed outputs between sensors (sensor fusion), etc. If I have to borrow a lexicon from the Cloud Computing space, what SP offers is a virtualized sensor. How ever, many multi-DOF (degrees of freedom) sensor vendors have been embedding program codes and/or offering free / open source versions -a direct threat to SP's business model.
More over, fixing it in software may not be the most optimum and energy efficient way to do things. But SP's advantage is one can build systems with sensors from multiple vendors and use SP's API to tie them together. How ever, iOS already has API's do this (don't know if that is better or worse than SP's); I imagine Android may have similar API's too.
SP's site still lists Ian Chen as one of the exec's.
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.