Coupling & Crosstalk: Over Connected?

Apple-Watch-Shinya_Suzuki_flickr17078894786_ec2467b9e6_o_crop_600x551Coupling & Crosstalk is my column in the MEPTEC Report. This column appears in the Summer 2015 edition on pages 11-12.

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.

Over Connected?

I’m torn. Should I buy an Apple Watch? Is this an ego trip or clearly a left versus right brain decision? Regular readers of my column know how much I appreciate Jony Ive’s designs and that Apple generally does an excellent job of both engineering and marketing. However, those who are familiar with my work and personality know Continue reading “Coupling & Crosstalk: Over Connected?”

Change the Rules to Win!

Some consider the many of billions of dollars invested in the semiconductor supply chain to be huge bets on yet to be proven technology and future business. Even if you take a strict view of this as simply business it is possible to learn something from gambling.

The Atlantic tells the fascinating story of how Don Johnson took Atlantic City casinos for $15 M playing blackjack. Last year he won $5 M from Borgata in February, $4 M from Caesars in March, and $6 M from Tropicana in April. This wasn’t luck and he wasn’t card counting. How did he do this and how does this connect to semiconductors and Apple?

Continue reading “Change the Rules to Win!”

Two Conferences – Two Industries Challenged By Post PC Era

Tim Cook introducing Apple's latest iPad

The “Post Personal Computer” (Post PC) era became the hot topic when Tim Cook introduced the latest iPad last week. Yes, calling it a “revolution” is definitely hype that is part of Apple‘s Post PC marketing campaign. Hype aside, it is clear that there has been a marked shift in digital hardware for the consumption of content and communication. The PC – be it a Windows, Mac, or Linux based system – is no longer “the device”. It is now one of many devices including portable music players (dominated by iPods), smart phones (lead by iPhones and Android based systems), and tablets (dominated by iPads). The shift is large and the impact is huge. To understand how big, watch the first three minutes of Mr. Cook’s presentation. Then you will understand why Apple had the largest market capitalization of any US company in February – the numbers are staggering.

Even though many were surprised to learn that we are now “Post PC”, some of us who have been developing strategies for the electronic supply chain have Continue reading “Two Conferences – Two Industries Challenged By Post PC Era”

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”

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”