I Am Paul Platt
Anyone can write a blog.
Why should you read mine? Allow me to tell you something about myself…
I have been a techie pretty much all of my life. As a kid I loved electronics and was a ham radio operator starting in my teens. In college I got degrees in math, chemistry and physics. During college I worked at one of the first computer stores selling early systems such as the Apple II and the Commodore Pet. Remember the Red Book that came with the original Apple II? I do. After college I joined Mostek as a design engineer working on DRAM chips. From Mostek I went to Cypress Semiconductor where I designed many different memory chips, some PLD’s and worked building a design group. The next move was to Integrated Device Technology where I started their Atlanta Design Center, ran their engineering software support organization and managed several remote operations. An article on the founding of ADC can be found here. At ADC we designed a wide variety of chips including RAMs, network search engines, PLLs and clocks, sRIO, a couple of logic families, video, memory controllers, and baseband chips. We even did work in local dimming for LED TV’s and PC power control. Besides ADC I was given responsibility for the Sydney, Dallas and Boston design centers. In design automation my group, located in both Atlanta and San Jose, developed an advanced custom design flow aimed at making IP portable, worked on advanced verification methodologies, and attacked issues involving mixing custom blocks into large RTL designs. They also provided backbend services such as place and route and ESD reviews for the entire company.
Physics fits my generalist background. I love to look at how different and seemingly disparate trends fit together. My math background means applying strict logic to the analysis of trends. I love a well formed argument. This doesn’t mean I won’t express my “gut feel” for things. It does mean I will change my mind when logic shows me the error of my ways.
Technical trends are about a lot more than just the technology. There are human factors and the all important business side. I learned a lot watching well thought of startups fail while other, less visible ones succeeded. Watching people adopt new technologies, be it in the PC space or small airplane avionics, has taught me a lot about the importance of the general populace and how that group is different from the techie world. For example, this is key to understanding the success of the iPhone and iPad devices and the importance of Apple’s App Store. Only by merging the technical, business and consumer psychology worlds can we effectively look at trends.