Slideshow: Analog Aficionados unite at ESC Santa Clara

Even though we had only a last minute e-mail blast (Thanks to Tim McCune for expediting the e-mail to the Analog Aficionados) and an Anablog message sent to the Analog Aficionados members, we received far better response than I had expected with 16 attendees at our Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) Silicon Valley luncheon for Analog Aficionados. We even had some surprise guests like Bill Laumeister from Maxim Integrated and Jim Widlar—Bob Widlar’s brother and J. Kirkwood Rough who is said to be among the analog guru’s—and I can attest to that because he showed me some of the amazing work he is doing in analog design. I have only seen Bob Pease and Jim Williams and Bob Widlar explain complex circuitry with such a “gut” feel for analog as Rough did.

When analog engineers get together, the discussion always turns technical with a touch of fun. Laptops open up, schematics are surveyed and discussed, good hearty laughter abounds, and fond reminiscing of analog icons no longer with us brings out old stories and some good memories.

Just take a look at the following few photos from our lunch get-together and you will get a feel for what went on during our 90 minute gathering. More of this type of enjoyment will come in the future as we increase our gatherings at various Silicon Valley events (DesignCon 2016 may be next in January).

The following are images courtesy of my lovely wife and photographer, Loretta Taranovich.

Just click on the first image to start the slideshow and enjoy:

Ron Quan, my text book author and photographer colleague, Jim Widlar (good analog in his genes) and Paul Norton (Linear Systems)

Ron Quan, my text book author and photographer colleague, Jim Widlar (good analog in his genes) and Paul Norton (Linear Systems)

3 comments on “Slideshow: Analog Aficionados unite at ESC Santa Clara

  1. Katie O'Kew
    July 29, 2015

    I wish I could have been there, in only to enjoy the evident camaraderie and swap a few more ideas under the counter, llike wot Dobby and I usedta do in the bars, late after the ISSCC sessions ended. We literally said “You show me yours and I'll show you mine”.

    I forget what I showed Bob but I do recall that on one of these occasions he outlined to me the notion of a buried zener. I immediately made some at ADI and eventually used the first one in the “legendary” AD534 Analog Multiplier – which is still in the catalog and still selling.

    I added double contacts to Kelvin sense the voltage with the second lead for the current drive. Peter Holloway worked on improvements in stabilizing the voltage over temperature using some fancy support circuitry. Both he and another guy launched patents on further improvements to the basic structure, but I never did, aware of where I got the idea in the first place. Thanks Dobby.

    Nowadays, we can achieve even better temperature stability from digitally-trimmed all-CMOS band-gap references, from the very advanced modeling and process characterization we enjoy at ADI. IC design ain't quite the fun what it used to be in those early free-wheeling days; but it's so much more accurate, and provides enjoyment of a somewhat different sort.

  2. Steve Taranovich
    July 29, 2015

    @Katie QQ—Engineers like you are a rare breed!

    I would love to have you attend our next Analog Aficionados events in January for dinner at DesignCon, and of course our regular dinner at David's restaurant Silicon Valley. We are trying to schedule more get-togethers throughout the year at various other events with linches or dinners.


    Those times you had with Bob Dobkin are priceless and Analog people need mentors like yourself and some of the other great designers. Stay tuned to Planet Analog and EDN for more details

  3. krishnasameerai
    August 4, 2015

    good post

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