Coupling & Crosstalk: Milking It!

Coupling & Crosstalk is my column in the MEPTEC Report. This column appears in the Fall 2018 edition on pages 8-9.

Electronic coupling is the transfer of energy from one circuit or medium to another. Sometimes it is intentional and sometimes not (crosstalk). I hope that this column, by mixing technology and general observations, is thought provoking and “couples” with your thinking. Most of the time I will stick to technology but occasional crosstalk diversions may deliver a message closer to home.

Milking It!

I observed recently two different companies “milking” their businesses for good and for ill. With the proper perspective, consumers can see how well an organization manages and cares for their products – tangible goods and services. Not just in the headline news which may be indicative outliers (airline mistreatment of passengers, anyone?) but in everyday interactions and purchases.

What does milking a business – be it cows or dishwashers – have to do with high technology? Continue reading “Coupling & Crosstalk: Milking It!”

Coupling & Crosstalk: 1, 2, 3, 4 … 5G – Ready in 2020?

5G canstockphoto22241792_300x200Coupling & Crosstalk is my column in the MEPTEC Report. This column appears in the Winter 2017 edition on pages 8-9.

Electronic coupling is the transfer of energy from one circuit or medium to another. Sometimes it is intentional and sometimes not (crosstalk). I hope that this column, by mixing technology and general observations, is thought provoking and “couples” with your thinking. Most of the time I will stick to technology but occasional crosstalk diversions may deliver a message closer to home.

1, 2, 3, 4 … 5G – Ready in 2020?

Everyone loves a spectacle: the Olympics have become a marketer’s dream, shining a spotlight on new products for a world-wide audience. It is no wonder we have been promised demonstrations of “5G” cellular technology at the 2018 Winter Games (South Korea) and 2020 Summer Games (Japan). While there is going to be an inordinate amount of “hoopla” surrounding 5G, Continue reading “Coupling & Crosstalk: 1, 2, 3, 4 … 5G – Ready in 2020?”

Coupling & Crosstalk: Products or Services?

products-services-canstockphoto10272610-300x300Coupling & Crosstalk is my column in the MEPTEC Report. This column appears in the Spring 2015 edition on pages 10-11.

Electronic coupling is the transfer of energy from one circuit or medium to another. Sometimes it is intentional and sometimes not (crosstalk). I hope that this column, by mixing technology and general observations, is thought provoking and “couples” with your thinking. Most of the time I will stick to technology but occasional crosstalk diversions may deliver a message closer to home.

Products or Services?

Paper or Plastic?” A simple grocery store inquiry? Think again: this decision has many layers of complexity as does the examination of products versus services. There have been endless discussions as to the benefits and downsides of paper, versus plastic, bags. Everything from environmental concerns, to reusability, to biodegradability, and much more has been deliberated. Just when we thought that the paper bag had Continue reading “Coupling & Crosstalk: Products or Services?”

Coupling & Crosstalk: MVP for Hardware Development?

feature box canstockphoto15992543 300x341Coupling & Crosstalk is my column in the MEPTEC Report. This column appears in the Summer 2014 edition on page 8.

Electronic coupling is the transfer of energy from one circuit or medium to another. Sometimes it is intentional and sometimes not (crosstalk). I hope that this column by mixing technology and general observations is thought provoking and “couples” with your thinking. Most of the time I will stick to technology but occasional crosstalk diversions may deliver a message closer to home.

MVP for Hardware Development?

Just like professional sports leagues, lean product management has MVPs! Sports teams try out players, compete, and then end the season with “Most Valuable Players” and champions. Unlike sports, winning product managers start out with Minimum Viable Products (MVPs) early on to Continue reading “Coupling & Crosstalk: MVP for Hardware Development?”

Feldman Engineering 2012 Wrap Up

2012

As we bid adieu to 2012, I realize that I have been remiss in providing updates on all of the exciting activity since my last one in May. I will rectify this situation below and have added regular updates to my list of New Year’s resolutions.

Challenges

In May, it was great to see the many responses to the Big Hairy Audacious Goal where Janusz Bryzek (Fairchild Semiconductor) challenged the microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) industry at the MEMS Technology Symposium that I described in “Thinking Big: $1 Trillion MEMS Market” (part 1 and part 2). 

In June, I reviewed the test challenges of the transition to 450 mm semiconductor wafers with my presentation “The Road to 450 mm Semiconductor Wafers” at the IEEE Semiconductor Wafer Test Workshop (SWTW). I have posted summaries of this entire excellent workshop: keynote and sessions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9.

In one very hectic July week, I attended the summer working meeting of the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS), the SEMICON West trade show, and the Test Vision 2020 conference. The focus of  Continue reading “Feldman Engineering 2012 Wrap Up”

LinkedIn Lady Radio Show: Marketing & Social Media Applications


Not enough time to plan, execute, and measure the ROI of the marketing for your business? Hey, there’s an app for that!

I was pleased to be Ken Herron’s guest on the October 24 edition of the LinkedIn Lady radio show. We had a great discussion about marketing and social media applications.

To hear the show:
   via iTunes
   download a MP3 file

 

Please send me your questions in the comments below or feel free to contact me directly if I can help your business!

Here is the show announcement:

As an independent consultant, Ira works with his high technology clients to move their products from concepts to commercialization. Marketing is an area of expertise in which he assists his clients, who range from solopreneurs to large publicly traded companies. At the same time, he markets his consulting services to his own customers. In this show, Ken and Ira will discuss marketing for small businesses. They will talk about marketing strategy, channel selection, and content optimization, which are even more important for business owners with limited time and resources. Ira and Ken will discuss all of the major social channels, including: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, and Slideshare, and the latest free tools to help YOU get the most out of your social marketing efforts to grow your business.

Join Ira and Ken on your computer or smartphone on the Wednesday, October 24 LinkedIn Lady radio show at 4:00 p.m. Eastern / 1:00 p.m. Pacific. Only on the LinkedIn Lady radio show on the Rock Star Radio Network!

Customer Service – the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Le client n’a jamais tort – César Ritz (1850-1918)

Fastest Way to Lose Customers - click for full infographic

Regardless of language or adage used, customers are the lifeblood of any business. Without customers, there is no business. How is it that businesses lose sight of this? Sometimes customers are taken for granted and are not part of a company’s core values. Other times, as organizations and processes grow in complexity they loose sight of the customer. And quite often teams don’t take sufficient time to look at themselves from the customer’s perspective.

As shown in the infographic above, it is really about the customer experience if 68% of lost customers leave due to poor treatment. It doesn’t matter whether your product or service is consumer focused (groceries, clothing, electronics, medical, legal advice, etc.) or industrial (semiconductor capital equipment, wafer test probe cards, nuclear power plants, etc.). The only difference may be Continue reading “Customer Service – the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”

Big Numbers – The Semiconductor Supply Chain

…To make sense of the big picture, one needs to follow the money and then head to China.

Ed Pausa the primary author of PricewaterhouseCooper’s (PwC) recently published report “Continued Growth: China’s Impact on the Semiconductor Industry – 2011 Update” provided an overview at this month’s MEPTEC luncheon. His presentation was a helpful tour to start digesting this impressive report, now it its seventh annual update. The report runs 112 pages in length and is packed with figures, data and most importantly analysis. Building a cohesive picture from many disparate data sources is a major undertaking and PwC should be applauded for making available this excellent work.

After listening to this presentation and reading the report, I find two items that really stand out as primary market forces. Unraveling the convoluted web of the semiconductor supply chain to examine these items will lead to greater understanding of the industry. They are, Continue reading “Big Numbers – The Semiconductor Supply Chain”

iPad Memories

…or Memory Magic via More Than Moore

Toshiba 16 Die Stack (64 GB NAND Flash)

No this isn’t a soliloquy to an Apple iPad that is no longer, but a brief tour of the incredible memory, packaging, and system technology that can be found under the hoods of the original iPad and the iPad 2 along with some of the manufacturing and test implications. These devices clearly demonstrate the new paradigm of “More Than Moore where scaling of systems and packaging will propel the next wave of growth in electronics beyond the traditional doubling of performance every two years predicted by Moore’s Law. For many in semiconductor packaging and test engineering communities the issues related to More than Moore have been an academic discussion up to now, but clearly the success of the iPad product line shows the current reality for advanced devices and where the future is headed. Apple and their suppliers took huge risks in developing these new technologies in exchange for substantial returns.

As I recently noted in “Memory Alphabet Soup“, the most pressing question about memory most consumers currently have is “which iPad 2?” – 16 GB, 32 GB, or 64 GB? If Mr. Jobs believed in Continue reading “iPad Memories”

MEMS Technology Summit – Day One – AM (1) – Special Presentations

MEMS Products Phases of Development - Yole Research
Last Tuesday,the MEMS Technology Summit at Stanford University, opened with a welcome by Professor Roger Howe. Roger not only provided a brief history of MEMS at Stanford, he was his characteristic gracious self and welcomed even those with close ties to Berkeley especially the Berkeley Sensor and Actuator Center (BSAC). Truth-be-told even though Roger is a Mudder first, Continue reading “MEMS Technology Summit – Day One – AM (1) – Special Presentations”

Probe Cards & Dart Boards

The wildly varying projections for the semiconductor market in general and the wafer probe market in specific makes me believe that many analysts are simply torn between reporting their tea leaf readings and the scores on their dartboard. A hopefully more reliable source is VLSI Research and their annual probe market survey is eagerly anticipated every spring. One may argue about methodology but on the whole they do an excellent job of painting a comprehensive picture.

Their optimistic forecast is heartening but increased sales volume doesn’t always translate into profits and downturns when they occur can be fatal. Do you prepare for growth like a hare or a tortoise? Do you build excess capacity (“Field of Dreams“), take and fulfill new orders with lots of overtime and temporary workers, or do you forgo new business that bears high incremental start-up costs?

Continue reading “Probe Cards & Dart Boards”

HOW and WHY things work!

The Art of the Teardown...

Miss Peach by Mell Lazarus (2/17/1974)

As a child I spent a lot of time taking things apart. My parents were relieved when a Miss Peach cartoon identified my behavior as explorative engineering rather than plain old fashioned destroying things. I was reminded of this again by the rash of recent blogs/articles by companies such as UBM Techinsights and Chipworks that estimate the cost of the iPhone 4 and similar devices-du-jour through teardowns. An excellent blog post last week by Steve Cheney recalled for me there’s a lot more to the story than simply documenting the bills of material (BOM) and estimating component costs.

Yes, it is interesting to know that the 16 GB iPhone 4 costs Apple approximately $188 in material and that you can buy one from AT&T (with a 2 year contract) for about the same price ($199). However, as a consumer, knowing this is simply “academic” since I can’t use this data to change the outcome: I either buy the phone or I don’t. Is there more to the story? Is there any real commercial value to a teardown?
Continue reading “HOW and WHY things work!”