I’m at the airport in San Francisco waiting for the redeye back to Houston. I’ve determined to take a moment and review my experience at the conference. First of all it was a great pleasure seeing many friends and spending time talking about technology. As I wrote in an earlier blog, my purpose of being at this year’s conference was to talk about two related topics, both passions of mine: ultra low power and personal medical, a common theme heard throughout the conference. TI had several papers at this show that were worth listening to. But before I get to one or two of the papers, let me look back a bit.
It was 30 years ago this ISSCC that TI introduced the TMS32010. It had 5 MIPS of performance with 144 words of RAM and could do a Multiply in one instruction cycle. This device, and the ones that followed, called DSP’s, revolutionized the world we live in today. At that time, we were unsure of which market to target, and today virtually every market opportunity uses DSP technology.
It just doesn’t seem that long ago when we started this journey. Like any journey, priorities evolve. Then, our focus was performance; today it’s power efficiency.
With that moment of celebration behind me, let me talk a bit about a couple of the papers given by TI. One of them was on a new power management device that was created for energy scavenging systems. I’ve included a picture of me and the other TI’ers who were responsible for the development. You might also notice Dr. Anantha Chandrakasan from MIT in our midst. It was a cooperative effort between TI, Dr. Chandrakasan and his students that made this revolutionary device possible.
Photo One: Anantha Chandrakasan, Brian Lum-Shue-Chan, Karthik Kadirvel, Gene Frantz, and Yogesh Ramadass in the demo area.
Photo Two: Karthik Kadirvel showing off the demo to Fernando Mujica, Brian Lum-Shue-Chan, Gene Frantz, Yogesh Ramadass
At ISSCC I spent quite a bit of my time speaking to people about TI’s corporate wide focus on driving low power into all of our products. We have been about low power for more that two decades and continually apply our learning to all of our circuits from analog to digital to RF. We have found that the one rule for creating low powered devices (i.e., power efficient) is to focus on low power design.
The other aspect of my activity was to talk about how technology is going to impact the world of personal health. I was part of the forum held on the last day of ISSCC which focused on Sustainable Health care. My talk was entitled “Health – Don’t leave home without it”. I focused on how we need to be in search for the “itch” that needs to be scratched rather than on the technology looking for a problem to solve.
I am certain that as we marry power efficient technology to some of these itches still needing to be scratched that we will create a new world of products that will:
-Manage our chronic diseases,
-Predict our catastrophic disease, and
-Make the last day of our lives comfortable at home.
I look forward to the next time I will be able to attend this amazing conference dedicated to the advancement of the integrated circuit.
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