Slideshow: Analog Aficionados 2013 sees old relationships, new mentoring

-March 03, 2013

It's not often that all the planets align and the stars come together, but this is the fourth year that the stars of the electronics world have united under one roof to share a meal, a beer and stories and experiences that can ignite a fertile young engineering mind, remind a colleague of a special time shared in the history of electronics or inspire today's engineers to innovate and press on through tough and seemingly insurmountable challenges.

I was invited by my colleagues Michael Steffes, Intersil Apps manager and Paul Rako, Analog Devices engineer to the fourth annual Analog Aficionados event in Santa Clara, CA. Rako was the great impetus behind this event and it has blossomed into 150 attendees this year.

I was thrilled to attend and meet engineers who I have read about in my text books. This group included Scott Wurcer, the ADI designer of the AD524, a great instrumentation amplifier; Dave Fullagar, designer of the ubiquitous uA741 (I can't count how many circuits I designed in my 40-year career with the 741!) and countless other giants in the semiconductor industry including Maxim and Linear Tech founders, former presidents and CEOs of Linear Technology, Intersil, Fairchild and on and on! Too many to mention here, but Paul Rako's website gives mention of a good many of them and lists just about all attendees.

Here are some of the awesome engineers and very interesting people I met at this great event at David's restaurant in Santa Clara, CA (Figures 3-14 are mine, 1,2,14,17-19 are Paul Rako's, 15,16 and 20 are Ron Quan's and the rest are Fran Hoffart's):

Figure 1: Badges? - We don't need no stinking badges! 150+ attendees were at this event

Figure 2: Linear Systems, a quadruple sponsor; TI and ADI, EDN, Planet Analog and EETimes were double sponsors at this event

Figure 3: John Hall and consultant Jimmy Simmons arriving

John H. Hall, president and founder of Linear Integrated Systems. Hall developed the first application of thin-film technology with on-chip resistors. He also developed the first dual transistor on a single chip and the first dielectric isolation technology. Hall co-founded Intersil with Dr. Jean Hoerni in 1968 (Editor's note: I was just starting my EE studies at NYU) and developed the first practical MOS process and also the first N-channel memory chip. Hall also developed the electronic watch using his proposed low voltage CMOS technology. See more of Hall's amazing accomplishments here. Jimmy Simmons, former IDT engineer is now a consultant.

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