[LINK] Silicon development in .au
Fri, 18 Oct 2002 07:49:25 +1000
An interesting interview yesterday, which yielded some nuggets that will
probably not make it into CommsWorld, but are worth observing.
The background is that Bell Labs are trumpeting some silicon development
they've done for a mobile technology called Blast ... if you're interested,
it's using multipath transmission to expand 3G data rates, and I'll leave it
at that because my physics is out-of-date... and I don't mind the
trumpeting, because it's the sort of interview I enjoy (it's nice to get at
the really, really smart people occasionally, instead of trying to wring
something interesting out of a marketing droid).
What I wanted to mention on-Link is that the silicon development happened in
North Ryde, with a team of Australian researchers (I interviewed just two of
them, Dr Chris Nicol and Dr Linda Davis). In fact, this is >the< location
for Bell Labs low-level silicon design work. I remarked that most people
don't think this sort of work happens in Australia, and was quickly
...Nicol particularly emphaised that it's a mistake to equate the presence
of big silicon fab plants with research. Just not that way, he said: the
Lucent/Bell Labs Blast chips were designed in North Ryde, they'll go to fab
in Asia somewhere; and it's the same throughout the industry.
Another point is that if the media equates big silicon plants with research,
they give the impression that silicon research doesn't happen here. This
ain't true, Nicol said - and I guess I'm just going to have to go looking
for the silicon research that's out there, because there's more than people
think. And it's high quality; good enough to get a paper accepted for the
ISSCC (international solid state circuits conference), boring title but
So I'll finish with a question. Some of the silicon research here is fairly
visible - CSIRO, DSTO and a few universities who bother telling people - but
where's the stuff that people like me are ignoring?
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