9 Things You Can Learn From The Semiconductor Industry For Direction During The Covid-19 Outbreak
While the 2019 novel coronavirus is approximately 120nm in diameter, the semiconductor industry is pushing transistor sizes to 7nm. Intel noted that more than six million trigate 22nm transistors could fit in the period at the end of this sentence.
With significant problems weighing down on humanity, the world is looking-up to problem solvers to remind us that we are capable of designing solutions to bring us through these challenging times. While the semiconductor industry has weathered ups & downs in the past, this pandemic brings about unprecedented disruptions as businesses focus on responding to critical needs and develop plans for the future to keep workers safe, minimize the spread, keep essential services going, develop contingency plans, understand risks in the supply chain, use data to make real-time decisions, vollaborate with old & new partners for more robust systems and focus on investments and move fast when opportunities open-up. While engineers generally approach technical problems with a logical, systematic, and pragmatic approach, analog engineers often compared to artists, chefs, or musicians excel at optimizing complex solutions with many dynamic variables.
With significant problems weighing down on humanity, the world is looking-up to problem solvers to remind us that we are capable of designing solutions to bring us through these challenging times
So, What Can Analog Engineers Teach Us About Approaching The Challenges Amid The Covid-19 Pandemic?
1. Protect and isolate yourself from surges that cause damage or injury.
2. Have a feedback loop to monitor and control for stability.
3. Know how to amplify, filter, condition, or shift signals as you work to understand the characteristics and limits of the situation. There is not always a right or wrong (1 or 0); so analyze the signals, model the situation, and be prepared to modify earlier decisions.
4. Have a roadmap; while a schematic provides a path, make sure your layout or execution plan factors in the margin and minimizes interference. Consider when actions are needed in series or parallel.
5. Design robust circuits to reduce risk.
6. Prepare for noise, process variation, and other parasitic effects and have contingency plans or techniques to address them in your design. The details make the difference.
7. Be resilient. Some things you will need to try, fail, improve, and try again.
8. Respect your digital counterparts and their ability to collect and process massive amounts of data in fractions of a second and analyze the information for decision making.
9. Use data and statistics to see where your operating plan may be pushing limits that require adjustments or further troubleshooting.
Perhaps the essential characteristic analog engineers model for us is their desire to design and build solutions to real-world problems. They create a conducive path for the flow of ideas and solutions, balancing the relationship between the source of energy and the load on the system.
The power source in our current coronavirus situation is our people the energy, experience, innovation, and work ethic of our scientists, medical professionals, first responders, suppliers, distributors, technicians, problem solvers, and educators. Even with the heavy load from the coronavirus outbreak, we can design a path forward that connects us and improves the situation. Finally, when it comes to things you cannot see, just like RF signals and viruses, trust the engineers and scientists capable of con-trolling such challenges. Stay safe and power on.