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The Analog Aficionados Dinner: Meet the Rock Stars of Analog

The Analog Aficionados party goes back more than 20 years, when Jim Williams would host an Analog Dinosaurs party at his house. My colleague, Paul Rako, re-started the tradition after a decade-long hiatus. It was especially poignant when both his mentor, analog great Bob Pease, and Jim died within a week of each other in 2011.

Some past and present attendees to this dinner have been: former Intersil CEO David Bell, Linear Tech founder Bob Dobkin and Maxim Integrated CEO Tunç Doluca, Jim Williams, Bob Pease and Bob Pease's widow Nancy, as well as her son Ben. Barrie Gilbert, Barry Harvey, Dave Fullagar, and Bo Lojek, who brought Bob Widlar’s papers from his “Russian period.” TI, Linear Tech, and Maxim engineers. Steve Sokolov, Derek Bowers, ADI’s Chris Mangelsdorf, and Dave Robertson. Joann Close and George Erdi, Jim Solomon, the founder of Cadence. Dave Anderson formerly from National. Don Tuite from Electronic Design. And so many more.

I have been remiss with my article to show you what went on at another very successful Analog Aficionados dinner on February 9 this year, which Paul Rako has re-located to David’s Restaurant in Santa Clara for the last three years. Jerry Fishman, late CEO of Analog Devices, was honored at this year’s dinner. Good sponsorship by UBM’s Planet Analog, EDN, EETimes, and EELive (now ESC), plus Atmel, Linear Systems, and a new sponsor this year, Supply Frame. We had more than enough good food and appetizers to go around for the more than 150 attendees. Attendance is growing! It’s such a fun event, plus I get to meet all the Analog legends, renowned EE Professors, aspiring EE students, and very talented, interesting Analog EEs.

Click on the slideshow below to see some fun photos by our resident Analog photographer Fran Hoffart and others that might give you a feel for this get-together:

Steve Hobrecht, retired Linear Technology engineer

 Back in 1978 when Hobrecht was just five years at National Semiconductor, he wrote a neat paper on Electronically Switched Tape Audio Processor in which he discussed replacing the multipole mechanical switch for record and playback select. He outlined an IC that was developed as the first true low-noise performance solution comparable to high-quality discrete designs.

Back in 1978 when Hobrecht was just five years at National Semiconductor, he wrote a neat paper on Electronically Switched Tape Audio Processor in which he discussed replacing the multipole mechanical switch for record and playback select. He outlined an IC that was developed as the first true low-noise performance solution comparable to high-quality discrete designs.

10 comments on “The Analog Aficionados Dinner: Meet the Rock Stars of Analog

  1. antedeluvian
    September 16, 2014

    Steve

    Paul is on a festival of scanning as a way to get rid of all the paper in the house but still keep the content (my wife saw this and now is after me to do the same).


    Did you see my blog Preserving Data Books From Yesteryear?

    My offer still stands in passing on the data.

  2. Steve Taranovich
    September 16, 2014

    @antedeluvian–I love your article and I think that most of us can relate to it.

  3. etnapowers
    September 17, 2014

    “He outlined an IC that was developed as the first true low-noise performance solution comparable to high-quality discrete designs.”

     

    It was a great step into the direction of integration on large scale, I think that it was a huge progress of the design process of electronic devices, making the history of electronics.

  4. Sergio Franco
    September 17, 2014

    I was privileged to attend that first meeting at Jim's home.  There were various ideas and discussions, which eventually led to the publication of the book “Analog Circuit Design – Art, Science, and Personalities”, which can be found at Amazon.

    When it seemed that everything that needed to be covered had indeed been covered, there was a moment of silence during which the attendees looked out of the glass door and saw, surprisingly, a deer.  That seemed to signal the end of the meeting, as everybody got up in unison. 

    In the credits, Jim wrote “Bob Widlar's contributions, albeit not received for this book, are acknowledged by all”. Jim Wiliams, Bob Widlar, Bob Pease, and Hans Camenzind, are sorely missed by the analog community.   

  5. Steve Taranovich
    September 17, 2014

    Thank you Professore Franco—-I envy you because I had never met Jim Williams, I only spoke to him in the 80s about a circuit design problem I was having—-He actually answered the phone and solved my problem!

  6. Sergio Franco
    September 17, 2014

    Steve,

    in the course of my several decades of teaching, I found myself interrupting my lectures countless times to say “If there were a Nobel Price for Electronics, this idea or this inventor would have gotten one!”. How about you initiating a thread on this topic?  Could be here, or could be in EDN, or you could have a Nobel Price in one, and an Acadedmy Award in the other, and then compare the two.

  7. Steve Taranovich
    September 17, 2014

    Yes Professore Franco—I love the idea. Let me discuss with my colleagues to see how we can do this. Mille Grazie!

  8. fasmicro
    September 19, 2014

    >> Paul is on a festival of scanning as a way to get rid of all the paper in the house but still keep the content (my wife saw this and now is after me to do the same).

    Just make sure the storage medium can adapt.  I did same for diskettes and now cannot access the data. It is very risky because once they cut off the means of accessing that storage medium, the data is “lost”.

  9. fasmicro
    September 19, 2014

    >> Could be here, or could be in EDN, or you could have a Nobel Price in one, and an Acadedmy Award in the other, and then compare the two. 

    Always ask that question. An award that is so popular and yet cut-off some key areas of human system and economy. We need Nobel for Engineering. There are many game changing ideas in the industry that must be honored.

  10. JamesBryant
    October 30, 2014

    Wikipedia lists 28 “High Honor Prizes” (in its Nobel Prize article) – so how does the Analog Electronics Community set about making it 29?

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