forward, what could change is the smart phone's current main feature
and evolutionary drawback, the screen. Right now, the screen dictates
the device design, physically and functionally. But at some point in the
future, screen functionality could be distributed to, for instance,
your car, your home, a random screen in a hallway or office. In that
case the form factor of the "communicator" can change radically. It
could even be a belt buckle, Chen offered.
Chen, who holds 10
patents, emerged from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
with BS and MS degrees in engineering and an MBA. In the span of his
quarter-century in the industry, he's worked at semiconductor companies
such as Texas Instruments, Cypress Semiconductor and National
He cites two former TI colleagues, Rich Templeton
(now TI CEO) and John Scarisbrick (now retired) as men who influenced
him. Templeton showed him the value of focus. As for Scarisbrick, "He
encouraged me to think about things like merchandising, even though
we're in the high tech business. Just because we're in high tech, we
can't be lazy and not think about conventional marketing and business
If the past 40 years were a whirlwind of technological
innovation, the next 40 likely will be a period of even more rapid,
intense achievement, Chen said.
"We are now starting to become
smarter and smarter in using computing as a tool in becoming more
creative. A lot of the things we're talking about in algorithms, we're
using machine learning, for example, to help us. We don't have a Moore's
Law but a positive feedback loop. As we build smarter tools, they make
us smarter," he says.
I completely Agree.
As MEMS and other sensors enjoy a period of increased uptake and acceptance by CE application designers, technologists begin to look to the future of MEMS and their application - e.g., the goal of One Trillion MEMS (unit and $). Applications/Concepts that may drive this level of volume will include 'Digital Cities', etc, that create the need for MEMS/Sensors everywhere or the idea of wearable MEMS or implantable MEMS. Many of these concepts readily exist in disciplines outside of the MEMS or Sensor industry and while the MEMS guys dream of high volumes driven by such applications, computer scientists and social scientists readily contemplate existing concepts like Social/Contestual Awareness and, possibly new concepts like the Social Area Network (SAN) or the 'Body Area Network' (BAN). Its my belief that we can do some very interesting, creative and commercially viable things today if we brought together the right team from these seemingly disparate disciplines to implement a solution that served (at least for now) a "particular" or "specific" solution - these "Sensor Cell" (SC) solutions could be later tied together in a broader network of SC's to realize the broader dream of a digital city or a Boday Area Network that communicated with other people around you to augment your own interactions - its very interesting stuff and it needn't be science fiction, much or all of what is needed is here today - whats missing is the vision to put the pieces together and build a use case scenario that will pioneer a demonstration of such technologies!
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.