I began employment at TI as a preamp designer on March 13, 2000. I got started in circuit design shortly after I graduated from Brigham Young University with a BES degree in Electrical Engineering in 1970: I was promptly drafted into the service of our country during the Viet Nam War. Fortunately, my engineering education and some experience on the Electrical Engineering Department computer maintenance staff was considered, and rather than tromping through the jungles of Viet Nam as some of my buddies did, I was given a job at White Sands Missile Range working on the testing of a computerized artillery fire system being developed by Litton. I was fortunate to spend time in a lab working on some fun circuit designs.
After 18 months in the Army, I was hired by Motorola in Phoenix, Arizona, where I found my way into the analog interface design group. I focused my design energy on data conversion and precision design projects, including 10- and 12-bit digital-to-analog converters, a continuously variable-slope delta modulator circuit for digital voice communication, a band-gap reference family, a triple 4-bit video palette DAC, and even a write driver for a Shugart floppy disk drive. Most of these circuits utilized laser trimming of aluminum links or SiCr thin-film resistors. I spent a great deal of time working on getting these technologies up and running in production.
After 15 years at Motorola, and sweltering in the summer heat, my family decided it was time to try the opposite extreme in climates, so we picked up and moved to Minneapolis where I found a job with VTC. Things were a little shaky there in 1987, but when the business got focused, I found myself working on disk drive circuits. Things had changed a lot from the elementary nature of that first write driver I worked on for Shugart while at Motorola. They haven't slowed down any in the last decade either. At VTC I worked on a variety of preamps, and also got involved with some channel projects, where I designed a 7-pole continuous-time filter and a 6-bit flash ADC. I also had some fun working on a couple optical preamp and laser driver circuits for HP optical drives.
Things have changed a lot over the past 30 years. I remember the first computer I programmed in 1965. Has anyone ever heard of a Bendix computer? It had a drum drive for main memory and a 10-cps keyboard for IO. My first design at Motorola was done using 400X hand-cut rubies (red mylar with the mask shapes being cut and the red layer being removed), and some of the tweaks we did by hand with a razor blade and ruler. The progress in disk drive technology has been staggering, and I often sit and contemplate in amazement at how things have changed over the years. I just hope that I can keep up for the duration.
So far, I have been granted 32 patents on circuit ideas. Click here to see a list of them.
I have published a few papers on some of my circuit designs. Click here to see a list of papers and conference presentations.