back to article America's chip land has another potential shortage: Electronics engineers

While the global chip shortage shows some signs of subsiding, semiconductor companies are facing another area where demand outpaces supply: microelectronics engineers. This concern was illustrated succinctly in a graph from Intel executive Raja Koduri during a panel on the subject at the annual VLSI Symposium on Technology and …

  1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    You think that's a problem?

    Nobody wants to study EE because CS makes more money

    Nobody wants to study physics cos EE makes more money

    In physics nobody studies optics because all the optics depts got axed 30 years ago because classical optics is old fashioned and boring.

    All the optics experts are very old and retired

    Guess what field you need expertise in to project a pattern of light into a handful of nanometers ?

    1. bazza Silver badge

      Re: You think that's a problem?

      Yep, and there's other examples.

      Even just in software, it's got bad. Once upon a time universities taught C, then C++. Java came along and that got picked up because it was easier to teach than C++. And so on to JavaScript because you hardly need to have to teach that at all.

      All in all the academic world, at least here in the UK, from beginning to end, avoids teaching hard stuff wherever possible. There's a growing resurgence in apprenticeships because companies have realised that the sooner promising youngsters are taken out of the education system the better (plus they avoid a ton of student debt).

      The economic problems inflicted by the educational theorists is appalling. In Japan for example the education system is designed to produce exactly average students. They talk about nails being hammered down flat, flair, exceptional talent and creativity being beaten out of any student that dares show any of these traits (at least according to family members who went through it). Here in the UK there is little emphasis on some fields being more economically valuable than others, meaning you can emege from a stellar educational career and end up valueless on the jobs market. We even have the hilarious example of a former prime minister's son running a profitable education company that is undoing the mistakes that his father (Tony Blair) as prime minister made in education policy...

      1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

        Re: You think that's a problem?

        There is simply no demand for learning C or C++, because why would you if you can earn twice as much doing Python and won't even have to think as much.

        Again if you type in C++ into the job boards, pretty much all adverts offer atrocious pay if you compare it to the effort you need to make to learn the stuff.

        Combine that with software corporations making billions, CEOs flying private jets or partying on private islands, while you spend your evenings thinking that you won't be able to buy a flat in London on your salary.

        It's pure greed of the executives and sadly the lack of interest in unionising amongst the engineering community.

        1. mtfrank

          Re: You think that's a problem?

          Unions for engineers are great.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: You think that's a problem?

        >Here in the UK there is little emphasis on some fields being more economically valuable than others

        Because it doesn't really matter what field you studied, whether it was classics, history or PPE. So long as you went to Eton - you are getting a cabinet post anyway.

  2. Mike Lewis

    That describes my career

    I started out by studying power electrical engineering, switched to electronic engineering then changed to software, writing device drivers and fixing bugs in the ones from the chip manufacturers.

    1. Ace2 Bronze badge

      Re: That describes my career

      The writing on the wall was obvious to me 15+ years ago: stay in HW and switch to designing test plans and reviewing test reports as a career (ALL of the actual work was offshored), or switch to SW and have 10X the employers and 2X the pay. No regrets.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That describes my career

        Mine too. I made that switch from electrical engineering to electronics to software When I saw the writing on the wall 35 years ago and from there to information security >25 years ago. I'm really good at predicting where things are going to go, but hugely underestimate how long the world takes to catch up.

  3. Someone Else Silver badge

    "If your 'software folks' aren't involved heavily in designing all aspects of a CPU core and [system-on-chip], or the 'hardware folks' aren't involved in the firmware and higher-level software, something is wrong," he said in a thread that generated a lively discussion.

    Well...Yes and no.

    On the one hand, there are EE types that couldn't program their way out of a paper bag. And yet they are writing "commercial" firmware.

    On the other hand, there is the legendary VAX, and VAX/VMS software; arguably the best example of what happens when EE and CS types work together to create something greater then the sum of the parts.

    I don't claim to have a one-size-fits-all solution to this conundrum. Clearly, properly educated and trained engineers from both disciplines can produce VAXes, while those less educated and trained will produce 8048s.

    ... and Lord knows we don't need any more of them (either 8048s, or the "engineers" that created them)!

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Someone Else Silver badge

        Harvard, that well-known font of computer science excellence....

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          >while those less educated and trained will produce 8048s.

          Doesn't that use Harvard Architecture? nuff-said

          (sorry post got withdraw by accident)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yay 8048s .. what a disaster .. the only thing that kept them going was the IBM PC keyboard.

      Fortunately the 8051 came along and undid a lot of that mess ...

      But having started with a degree in Computer Engineering (joint EE / CS) I too have moved from 100% hardware to 100% software ....

      But it does depend on what you're building - there are still a lot of ASIC and PGA circuits out there that perform fixed functions and are not programmable.

      And not forgetting the analogue stuff - the replacement of fossil fuels by electricity still means we need power devices - power transistors, regulators, MOSFETs, thyristors, op amps. I am not for letting the Python programmers design those !

    3. vincent himpe

      without that 8048 you wouldn't be able to type anything on that keyboard of yours.

      the original ibm pc had one in the keyboard and on on the motherboard (8042, same core). the 8042 also controlled A20

      its derivate, the 8051, still counts as the most produced core in the world.

      so don't diss the 8048.

    4. Mike 16 Silver badge

      8048 considered useful

      Take a look at some fairly esoteric chips (e.g. using PCIE, infiniband, higher bandwiths of Ethernet...) and there is a high probability of there being a few 8048s inside. They are an important part of the 3rd-party IP used for high-bandwith SERDES. What part? The part that exists to allow downloading a "patch" when the delicate logic used to tune the taps of the filters. Of course, if the one that controls the PCIE bus itself is the slightly crazy one, you may have to resort to the modern day equivalent of percussive maintenance (power off, power on, check for working, perhaps somewhat degraded, repeat until you give up or it works well enough to do the patch)

      The situation can most likely be explained by the "hardware guys" assuming the the firmware will be perfect, and the "software guys" assuming that both hardware and software are "pretty good, an if there's a problem we can always push a patch.

      This may be related to the "verification" test during development that seem allergic to "fuzzing", so test only the limited set of states they have thought up in an hour of brainstorming (well, that's extreme, but I have teh scars...)

  4. Scene it all

    Chip design is hard

    EE of the type required to design chips requires *math*, and *sub-atomic physics*! eek, and that is even before you get into the manufacturing technology to actually make the stuff. I had one required course in this and that was enough. Most of EE requires serious math of one form or another. On the other hand, you can get through a CS curriculum without ever encountering Mawell's Equations.

    1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: Chip design is hard

      And people who could do these jobs know maths and they can easily calculate how they'll be screwed by the industry.

      1. Stork Silver badge

        Re: Chip design is hard

        And the ones who want to earn money are also tempted by the business consultants

    2. sreynolds Silver badge

      Re: Chip design is hard

      Naah all the EE types who knew oh maxwell were victims of the Qaulcomm patent wars.

    3. Fifth Horseman

      Re: Chip design is hard

      To a large extent, a lot of the craft of physics and engineering disciplines can be summed up as "The Art Of Solving Partial Differential Equations". (1).

      The problem faced by universities offering first degrees in physics and engineering is that the scope of the maths syllabi at GCSE/O Level and A Level has been pared back hideously over the last half century (2). Students who may undoubtedly have the talent and the aptitude are going into a degree without the breadth of knowledge that they need to tackle the subject in a rigorous way.

      One solution would be to add an extra year onto the degree - a first year mathematics foundation course - but given that too many students struggle to pay for a three year course, I can't see that being a popular course of action these days. Some senior academics at my old university were advocating this thirty-plus years ago. Another option is to "just teach it right" and hope the students can fill in the gaps in their knowledge themselves. This will work fine for some, but cause a lot of pain for the rest. Since no department wants high student drop-out numbers, the default position is to simplify the course content, effectively pushing the underlying problem a year or two down the line (or under someone else's carpet, if you prefer).

      This is coming from a (former) solid state physicist. My grandson starts his apprenticeship in a couple of month's time - in bricklaying and stone masonry. I couldn't be happier for him. He will no doubt make more money than I ever have done, and more importantly probably have a lot more fun at the same time.

      (1) - A bit of a Black Art, at that. Systems of equations can blow up in your face for seemingly no reason, and it can take a lot of mathematical sophistication to understand why. Hamming's Motto - "The purpose of computing is insight, not numbers".

      (2) - I can only speak for the UK here, I know too little about the education systems elsewhere. I suspect the problem may be fairly widespread though.

  5. PBealo

    While not minimizing the dearth of EEs coming out of schools. If we're talking wafer fabs, we're primarily NOT talking EEs. We're talking Chemical Engineers, semiconductor process engineers, physicists and chemists.

    Way back when (1980) when I was to graduate with a BS in Photographic Science from RIT (chemistry of light sensitive materials and design of optical systems) I'd sign up for interviews for any company looking for EEs for fab engineering. Inevitably I'd walk in and they'd say "why are you here? We're looking for EEs for our fabs!". After I explained what I brought to the table by way of lithography, image processing, actual process control statistics, etc, I'd get invited out for interview at the fab. Had 6 job offers inside semi industry b4 I graduated.

    If they are only looking for EEs they are short sighted.

  6. OhForF'
    FAIL

    Shortage of skilled workers

    >If hardware jobs can't pay more, it means the industry needs to find other ways to make the industry more appealing<

    So yet another industry struggling to hire people with highly specialized skills where paying more is no more an option than training the people on the job.

    I wonder what ways they'll come up with to make those jobs more appealing, good luck but you'll find it hard to find anything that will not increase your costs.

    Just claiming coding in VHDL is more sexy than JScript is probably not going to work

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Shortage of skilled workers

      Dyson keeps banging on about the UK not producing enough engineering graduates, but he doesn't pay any more than the rest of the dwindling UK engineering industry.

      I left my home country, the UK, to work in Germany where they pay around twice what the UK pays for engineers.

      Why would anyone these days take on huge student loan debts to go into engineering in the UK when they can do business studies or accountancy and walk into a job paying double.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Shortage of skilled workers

        One of my cousins' daughter took aeronautical engineering but then went straight into accountancy. An engineering degree doesn't cut you off from the big money - it's what you do afterwards.

    2. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: Shortage of skilled workers

      Pasted VHDL into one of the job boards.

      3 adverts popped up, all basically the same:

      £35k to £40k DoE

      I mean, case closed. You can make that money easily without sacrificing your youth studying.

      You can stack shelves and sell weed on the side (it's tax free!) and get more money than that.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    time-limited careers

    Check the demographics of E.E.s at Intel. Plenty o' young 'uns, not so many elders. If you're an E.E. there and haven't gone into management by the time you're forty, you're effectively shown the door. Intel does it via shell-game reorganizations. If your slot is eliminated in a reorg, you get to apply for a job elsewhere at Intel; good luck with that. Given that pattern (possibly in other companies as well), what's the incentive for college kids to become E.E.s?

    1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: time-limited careers

      By the time your are 40, you should be able to recognise all the BS in the corporation.

      They need naive young blood to exploit and they don't want senior people to burst the bubble for the young slaves.

      1. mtfrank

        Re: time-limited careers

        I don't think "they" are that smart.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: time-limited careers

      Intel are famous for culling folks pretty quickly. They've let the bean-counters run the show for quite a while now and it shows. I've met more than a few folks who became much happier when they left for other companies without as bad a NIH complex and less rigid bureaucracy.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: time-limited careers

        I suspect the bureaucracy isn't so much "rigid" (as in, strictly enforced, though there's some of that too) as it is "pervasive" -- basically everywhere, no getting away from nor around it.

        Once you get to the size of Intel, it's hard to even get out of your own way. Turning radius of the Titanic, and like that.

  8. CapeCarl

    EEeek! vs CSfreak: Et tu ISA?

    As a mid/late 1970's CS major, I took a couple EE courses. In one, making two 8008s talk over a serial line (hmmm not much more in Moore's law at that point, so ugly was expected).

    As time progressed for work 8086/88 -> 80186 -> 80286 -> 80386 (asm then C). // Here I learned to wonder if said EE uglyness could be out marketed by ANYONE with a sense of orthogonal design in order to lower the suicide threshold of poor assembler coders, like me.

    ...Lots of interactions at the asm & C levels with lots of interesting 1980's CPU technology...Yea 68000!

    Early/mid 90's, I noticed that Intel had bought the IP of a dead (local to me in Connecticut?) VLIW server maker // Too many runtime dependancies to make this practical?

    Intel via HP goes to 64-bit and a fresh start...Bring in the CS people....Hmmm Itanium.

    OK between the "let's just keep pasting more transistors onto the 80xxx!" EE abomination, and the CS excesses of the Itanium ("I'm sure the compiler can make this work"), can one ever win?

    ---

    With Dennard Scaling dead && Moore's Law on life support, perhaps I should just throw up my ARMs and move to Apple Silicon.

    1. Munchausen's proxy
      Pint

      Re: EEeek! vs CSfreak: Et tu ISA?

      "Here I learned to wonder if said EE uglyness could be out marketed by ANYONE with a sense of orthogonal design in order to lower the suicide threshold of poor assembler coders, like me."

      Tip a glass for our late, lamented, friend the PDP-11.

  9. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    If hardware jobs can't won't pay more...

    Restating the problem is often the starting point for the solution.

  10. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Means of production

    This is the problem of industry own making.

    If they paid fairly, then you would see people willing to commit their time into learning EE.

    The truth is that EE requires probably a magnitude more effort (both in time and also financial) than CS, but it offers much shittier pay.

    There is no reward in that industry.

    Then even if you are crazy enough to commit and learn to work at one of those semiconductor corporations, you'll become their slave.

    You can't exactly shop for a better employer, because there is only a few of them and in their interest is to keep wages low.

    Why? Because they don't want engineers to amass capital and potentially spin off a competing corporation.

    But even if you were born into a wealthy family and that wouldn't be an issue - they covered that too.

    The industry is extremely gatekeeped and toxic. If you managed to somehow go around patents and lawyer threats,

    chances are nobody is going to sell you any equipment.

    This is one of the industries that is poorly understood and desperately need regulation, to restore competition and fairness.

    1. Scene it all

      Re: Means of production

      One of the rare places I have seen that hires real EEs to do EE work is radio astronomy. Just about all their gear is custom built for a particular telescope. But that is a tiny job market.

    2. nerdbert

      Re: Means of production

      It's worse than you expect.

      SoCs are becoming the norm. Everyone wants the efficiency and cost savings. That means that only very large companies can afford to have the teams to supply all the various functions. (Yeah, buy the IP, sure, and then spend more time trying to integrate it into your design flow and foundry. You're usually better off doing it yourself by the time you've done all that work.)

      But the chips are large, thus expensive to fab as well as design, and big companies are generally run by the spreadsheet folks and they refuse to take risks. So you get just a few companies, making very large, very "safe" designs that are just incremental improvements on what's been provided before. So this means that chip guys are just expected to churn out variations of what's been done before. Hardly an exciting prospect.

      Then, look at where all the work has gone. For decades the chip companies have been trying to shift jobs to China, India, and the like. Hell, back in the late 90s to about 2010 you couldn't get a VC to even look at a proposal unless you had a plan for a significant number of folks in China or India. They've wised up a bit now, but for several decades anyone considering EE had to look at a shrinking job market with fewer opportunities in the West.

      So you're going to do a job that's far tougher than software engineering, that pays less, and that is much, much harder? I'm one of those EEs, and an analog EE at that, so I've done all the Ph.D. level EE and solid state physics stuff. I've also got a degree in software (undergrad), and even I say you'd be nuts to go EE if you find even a modicum of satisfaction writing code.

      But I'd also tell you that unless you choose your specialty very, very carefully you'll find a ton of age discrimination in both industries. Neither one likes gray hair unless you're in a field where if it doesn't at least function first time, every time you'll have a tough time finding a job past 40.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meanwhile, here in the UK, that well known technology incubator hub....

    Universities are spewing out graduates in fashion design, media studies and hospitality and leisure studies.

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Meanwhile, here in the UK, that well known technology incubator hub....

      They used to offer Land Economy so the dimmer children of the Landed Gentry wouldn't feel educationally short-changed.

      At least fashion, media and hospitality were - until recently - growth industries. By far the biggest sector of the British economy is Retail and Wholesale: solely on the basis of economic utility we should be offering degrees in shopkeeping.

      The challenge in the UK, at least, is getting people interested in technology subjects before they drop them all at A-level which really isn't assisted by the specialisation and arts/science divide in the last two years of secondary education. We really need more people who are curious, reasoning and engaged - they're not going to emerge from education knowing all they need to know for the rest of their lives.

      1. nintendoeats Silver badge

        Re: Meanwhile, here in the UK, that well known technology incubator hub....

        I have a philosophy degree, but work as a software developer. My girlfriend is a doctor.

        I completely agree about the arts/science divide in university. At my school, effectively the science students didn't have time to take any arts courses and any interesting science course had so many pre-requisites that no arts person could take them.

        It should come as no shock that you get science graduates who can't communicate and don't understand the broader implications of their work, and arts graduates with no understanding of the physical world or rigorous reasoning.

        I would strongly approve of providing more of a "classical" education, that expects people to develop a base knowledge of everything.

  12. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    You wait

    until you find out theres no companies/people capable of building the equipment in your fabs

    Wont matter then that theres optics guys, EE's and CS engineers who can do the design if theres no one who can make a 6 foot dia vacuum chamber complete with a purge system that includes behind the rubber gas seals..

    I've found 1 person capable of replacing me in 5 years of various apprentices coming and going... and she's rather keen to get in on the programming the stuff rather than any shop floor "lets see if I can make a 600lb billet of 316 stainless into part of a chip fab line" type bollocks

    Its just a sad state of affairs here that my last apprentice was paid near min wage, he gets 120quid a week more to stack shelves...... and my PFY's brother gets as much as I do for running a MacD shift...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's pay, stability and pay

    My first degree was in EE. I didn't get a first.

    No jobs, so I did a Masters in a branch of CS, spent a few years in technical support and fifteen years later I'm a mid-level developer doing pretty well.

    My closest friend at the same university got a first in their EE degree and went into chip design straight after. They were made redundant after about ten years, and now they're an entry level quality assurance engineer in a different EE company.

    It's the same story everywhere. No entry level EE jobs unless you're the best in the year. No job security, and as you have to specialise the moment they push you out you're back to entry level.

    Unless you go into management, but managers don't design or build products.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's pay, stability and pay

      I've worked in chip design for +25 years with a BEng in Electrical/Electronics and a Masters in Microelectronics and Semiconductors. I was nowhere near the top of my class. But have been very well paid for the last 20 years. (With salary, bonuses and stock.)

      It's about building on the basics one learned during one's studies. Then having the right skillset, in the right place, at the right time.

      1. nerdbert

        Re: It's pay, stability and pay

        One thing I've always told new hires. "This company has a job. You have a career. If you're smart, you'll tend to your career and not the job, since jobs will always come and go."

        The smart ones will leave if the company pigeonholes them into something that won't help their career. The others will be laid off at 40 with very poor job prospects. IBM was famous for that kind of crap since they had their own proprietary tools that didn't translate into industry standard design flows. And we all know how IBM views age from all the discovery details that have leaked from their recent suits.

  14. Stork Silver badge

    I can see the pattern

    My oldest son is starting the last year of a physics/engineering M.Sc. He plans to do a minor in some CS subject as it is hard to see the jobs in the purer physics areas, een considering all of Europe - he counts on going abroad as starting pay around here is rarely higher than €20000/y.

    - I half joking suggested him to learn COBOL!

    1. nerdbert

      Re: I can see the pattern

      When I graduated with the doctorate, I had a choice: take it in Solid State Physics with few job prospects, or at least double the starting salary and an order of magnitude more prospects in EE.

      Didn't spend a whole lot of time making that decision.

  15. ReaddyEddy

    Not enough EE’s to expand onshore chip design, Why?

    Several factors:, dependent on EE subdomain

    Hardware cost of entry: until fairly recently a development kit for any FPGA family cost thousands, and the dev software tended to be locked to a speciific device manufacturer or family. Compare with cost of developing for a mobile phone.

    Steep Learning Curve, you’d need a few years experience to be really productive and may end up locked to the first company you join the more niche the product the more that’s the case. So slower salary progression. Compare with how long to learn Java or Python and they’re quite fun.

    Entry Salaries, certainly in the UK entry level salaries tend to be lower than in the software industry.

    EE is hard, even if it’s “just” digital design. As soon as you go to analogue or RF it gets really hard, into the solid state Physics really really hard. Take a look at any Solid Physics Book.

    I’m speaking as someone with nigh on 50 years experience from programming with punch cards, SSI digital and designing a control system with relays, through writing IC test programs to analogue and RF design and on to a CS Phd and mobile development.

    1. vincent himpe

      Re: Not enough EE’s to expand onshore chip design, Why?

      recently ? you must not have used FPGA then. Terasic had FPGA development kits for 50$ , in 2001. that's 21 years ago....

      They have kits today with huge FPGAs for 100$. that is still cheaper than a computer.

  16. Peony

    I hope it's have no relation to unpaid internships, demanding high skill from people who can not secure even entry level possition becouse of not being "star" graduate with 100500 GPA.

    If being serious EE is hard and even low score in exams take time and a lot of effort. Not dropping is itself takes nerve. May be I'm not fully relevant with my hidden disability but I have studied 10 years reading books, studied math again and agan, retaking exams. Am I star? no. Have I understand processes and schematics? Solid "Yes", but being realistic, years passes and I loose my qualification. Can I get a job to grow as a specialist? Absolutely no. Even if I found company who would talk to me, I can not afford neither unpaid internship on other the other side of the world, nor minimum wage (on the other side of the world). Can I maintain and grow my qualification at home? Ridiculous question, with no means "No", especially with no guarantee that I eventually will be paid for knowing all this intersting but incredible complex stuff. Also, there are no way to build out of the blue any practical case that is any relevant to fabs or industry a whole.

    Now I'm heading to custom tailoring, if anyone in inustry needs me — dm me (ergond@protonmail.com).

  17. Persona Silver badge

    FTFY

    If hardware jobs can't pay more, it means the industry needs to find other ways to make the industry more appealing, the panel said.

    No, the hardware industry needs to pay more.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: FTFY

      Press gangs! What made Britain "Great".

  18. GraXXoR

    Mirrors my path pretty much exactly.

    Started off in Electrical Engineering, moved to Electronics and nanotechnology.

    Eight years of education later I was offered a job as a system engineer that paid more than anything I could find in the hardware field. I then moved into Windows deployment and finally started my own educational establishment here in Tokyo to teach programming to young kids.

    My 10 year olds are already learning Python which pays highest here in Tokyo, and I'll follow the money and create courses as necessary to see my kids have the most fiscally valuable skills.

    I'm 50 and have never used any of my postgrad technical skills outside of presentations to parents.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    EE and SW

    I'm a bit of a dinosaur. I work with a semiconductor manufacturer and I just prefer playing with hardware. I have developed commercial code but it's just ballooned in complexity. I used to be happy faffing about in assembler but hate having to get involved with frameworks, cloud connectivity, security...It turns me cold. I can whinge at SW developers when they don't deliver and I can prove it on my bench and get them to fix it. I don't want to go down the rabbit hole of SW. It turns me cold now.

    it's pretty sad when for example Reading dropped EE because people didn't want to study it. The real problem is that we are getting older and there are very few younger people wanting to get involved in hardware for the very same reasons I don't want to go down the route of software.

    Adding the fact that we have willfully extricated the UK from Horizon and the Erasmus programme, how are we going to develop UK talent? I am on a project to try and look at ways to recruit younger people into the industry - I was mentoring a young person who was going down the route of cyber security, now he is working in the industry without doing a degree but he can prove his talents and worth but he has worked bloody hard to do what he has done via non-educational paths.

    I fear for the UK tech sector. I can't see how, without exposure to leading edge tools and production facilities we can get the next generation of engineers. But I guess the flip side is that I should be in a position to continue working into my 70's should I decide to do so and at the age of 55, I have no desire to retire.

    I'm sorry to be so negative, but having spent all of my working life in the industry, I find it really sad when we can't support and motivate the younger generation to get into hardware design. It's has changed a lot over the last 40 years, but there is a lot of joy to be had and a lot less reliance on placing trust and building on the work of others, hence easier sleeps at night.

    Your board, your design - you have the ability to make it work.

  20. This post has been deleted by its author

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