Tim, Senior Digital Designer

Tim, Senior Digital Designer

Tim has been with ICsense since 2013. He is part of the digital design group. Tim’s career started in 1999 on joining ST-Ericsson as a designer. Over thirteen years there he gained extensive experience in all aspects of digital design including: design, verification, synthesis, formal validation and design for test. Tim received his education (a Master of Engineering, Electronics and Communications) from the VUB in Brussels.

WHAT INSPIRED YOUR INTEREST IN IC DESIGN?

My interest in electronics developed whilst studying at University. My initial motivation to study science and engineering came from a passion for mathematics. It’s whilst exercising that passion that I started to see how maths can be used in the electronic design process. I went on to build an understanding of circuit behavioural modelling and how that can solve digital design challenges.

WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT DESIGN FOCUS?

My current project is about a gas sensor ASIC, that we will see in mobile phones next year ! I have been dealing with the complexities of the industry standard 16-bit MSP430 embedded processor from TI. What’s really interesting is how digital circuits are enhancing product functionality today. With the lower cost of complex processing, we can use digital cores to simplify the connection of advanced analog products to the outside world. I have been working to exploit this core to enable an analog IC to operate within a multi-protocol interface environment.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE ICSENSE?

I wanted to find a smaller, more dynamic work environment. It was also important to me that I could leverage the skills I had already acquired. I was able to help close a key gap in ICsense’s skill set. There is a slight tension between digital designers and their analog counterparts. It exists because we see problems differently. As soon as you try to merge analog and digital domains, complexity arises. It’s here in the border between domains that my skills come to the fore. It’s not always easy to resolve problems, but it’s really interesting work.

WHAT STANDS OUT ABOUT ICSENSE AS AN EMPLOYER?

Despite the traditional analog vs digital – tension noted, ICsense has a culture that helps break down boundaries and avoids communication problems. Also, we have a really well thought out development environment that helps keep everyone close to the key issues. Team spirit is evident and everyone knows we’re all in this together. There’s some really challenging projects to work on and it’s a highly supportive environment to get things done.

WHAT IS YOUR TYPICAL WORK DAY LIKE?

No day is ever the same for me. I have a broad range of responsibilities combining, on the one hand, urgent problem solving to longer term detailed integration projects. I provide specialist digital design knowledge in high speed switching and behavioural modelling. In many ways I work like an internal consultant.

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