* Posts by PBealo

8 publicly visible posts • joined 12 Feb 2021

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


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.

TSMC and China: Mutually assured destruction now measured in nanometers, not megatons


Re: What was that ?

A) I'm not sure TSMC leading edge fabs are not already mined in some manner. I know upper mgmt folks in another Taiwan foundry using older processes and when asked they say that their fabs aren't mined, but point out China already builds their level of technology so doing so is unnecessary.

B) I began selling fab equipment to China as soon as the US Govt allowed it in the mid 80's. China's issue at that time was not their researchers but their infrastructure and access to Western high tech materials. Even then they had VERY smart people, I once saw one of their e-beam litho systems that ran off an original IBM PC with interface electronics at the 7400 chip series or below. It worked but was VERY slow. Smart people designed it. Now they have western educated engineers and scientists. In the 80's their western educated scientists attended college in the 30's.

C) Even if not mined, coordinated missile strikes from Korea, Japan and US fleet(s) would level them. Refer to 1st Baghdad raid of the Gulf War, but going after just 3 or 4 factories.

D) Yes, it is necessary to plan for this. We cannot allow PRC to control all the highest tech fabs in the world...

Auctioneer puts Space Shuttle CPUs under the hammer


Great to see these for sale. The summer of 1979 I worked at IBM Federal Systems Div in Owego NY in the "pre assembly dept," 2nd shift and among other duties I mounted and soldered connectors to shuttle computer boards.

Those shuttle jobs stopped after someone (NOT ME!!) was rolling a completed unit down a hall on a cart, and dumped it to the ground upon hitting a crack in the concrete floor. From then on only supervisors touched shuttle components.

Sadly, once the summer came to an end I was told not to apply back again. It seems I made management look bad because most of our DoD business was "cost plus" with reeaaallllly long times associated with each manufacturing step, and I took beating those times as my challenge. On many shifts I exceeded 3 or 4 times rate. Supposedly that made IBM look bad to their customers. And nothing ever came back for bad quality...

Another US president, time for another big Intel factory promise by another CEO


Sure, tens of thousands of semiconductor industry professionals are yearning to move to the middle of Ohio! Who wouldn't?!?!

Dell won't ship energy-hungry PCs to California and five other US states due to power regulations


What will this do to Intel as compared to AMD?? AMD CPUs are generally low power compared to similar performance Intel CPUs.

This could be interesting!

Intel: 'Another one to two years before the industry is able to completely catch up with demand'


Don't forget the $300M charge for a govt. contract in Q4 '21 the CFO mentioned! That's likely from the 3 year slip of Argonne Natl Labs' Aurora supercomputer. Contract was let in 2015 for 2018 delivery, then slipped to 2021, then CPUs slipped to 2022...

In the meantime AMD's share of supercomputers changed from 9 of the top 500 to 25 of the top 500 in just one year.

How does a company that can't deliver one computer to the govt qualify for ANY govt money to build fabs??

Hubble’s cosmic science is mind-blowing, but its soul celebrates something surprising about us


As I recall, The NRO sats are tested end-to-end. NASA elected to forego that testing to save money and test only components, not the entire system. That's where the screw up happened. Perkin Elmar had two test "rigs": one said the primary mirror was good, one said bad. They opted to believe the good...idiots.

HPE Spaceborne Computer-2 slips off the shelf – and off the planet: Boxen heading to ISS


"Slipped off the shelf..."

The title reminded me of a time long agoin 1979 where I worked as a summer student at IBM Federal Systems Division in upstate NY. I worked 2nd shift in "pre-production" dept: tinning leads of parts, attaching connectors to PCBs, etc. It was cool because the name of each project was on the tote that contained material, but I was the only one in the department that knew what the projects were. Wild Weasel computers, torpedo computers, AWACS computers, and best of all: Space Shuttle Computers!! To a space geek this was like heaven.

One evening I came in to find a new directive: only department heads were to touch shuttle computers. It turned out that someone was wheeling a completed shuttle computer on a 4 wheel cart down a corridor with concrete floor. We were told a wheel got stuck in a crack and the computer fell to the floor. It still worked, but NASA would only buy it at reduced price for use as a ground simulator. Ouch!!