Because of the high maintenance needed to monitor and filter spammers from the RF Cafe Forums, I decided that it would
be best to just archive the pages to make all the good information posted in the past available for review. It is unfortunate
that the scumbags of the world ruin an otherwise useful venue for people wanting to exchanged useful ideas and views.
It seems that the more formal social media like Facebook pretty much dominate this kind of venue anymore anyway, so if
you would like to post something on RF Cafe's
page, please do.
Below are all of the forum threads, including all
the responses to the original posts.
Post subject: BSEE seeks career advice Posted: Tue Dec 13,
2005 5:34 am
Hi. I graduated from M.I.T. 2 years ago with a BSEE
and a BS in Management. As I was torn between working in EE and business,
so I tried working in business as a management consultant for two years.
However, now I really feel the urge to come back to tinkering with circuits
(I used to be an avid electronics hobbyist, and loved to build hobby
kits-eg. Stereo Power Amp, Audio mixer etc. in high school)
I took the big leap and quit my business job two months back, and decided
to reaquaint myself with EE. Went back and did all the problem sets
to all my undergrad circuits courses, since I haven't looked at a circuit
in two years. I am now looking for an entry-level position as an analog
design engineer/applications engineer, but the market is tough as many
newbies like me on this board attest to. Based on self-study, I have
done coursework upto building an op-amp, compensating it etc., but do
not currently have the knowledge of specific areas like high frequency
techniques, or building D/A converters, power electronics ICs etc.
My question is the following:
1) Based on my current knowledge,
is there ANY entry level job I can get in IC design/apps, or do I need
to have a lot more knowledge in the field before I can even get an internship?
2) Is loving to tinker with circuits hands on a good indication
that one will like IC design? My worry is that it appears that a lot
simulation is done today with software based design tools, and the hands-on
aspect is minimal.
Any advice you can offer is helpful.
Post subject: Posted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 5:43
To quit a full-time job without having a new one is suicide in
these days !
Maybe you will reach something by the help of the
name "M.I.T.", but surely not with your BSEE. There's a big difference
between electronic hobbyists and modern IC design.
Post subject: helloPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 2:29 pm
take some course work online
offers course work in analog IC, digital IC, data converter IC design.
if you can handle MIT or so you say, berkeley should be a joke
Post subject: ThanksPosted:
Wed Dec 14, 2005 3:42 am
This NTU seems like a great idea. btw,
I've heard that the courses at UCLA/Berkeley are better in terms of
analog esp. compared to MIT. At MIT, there is so much more research/courses
in Comp. Sci and signal processing (A.I., DSP etc.). Virtually nothing
in RFIC at MIT until recently, when one of Thomas Lee's students became
a Asst. Prof. at MIT.
If you had a choice, would you only take
a course on RF circuit design, or would you also through in some material
on digital IC design as well? What about antenna deisgn etc.? Thanks
for the suggestions.
Posted: Wed Dec 14, 2005 8:48 am
If your truly an MIT grad you should
have no problems getting into an entry design position lots of company
will do it. Start sending your resume to compamies.
Post subject: berkeleyPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2005 11:57
True, you are an MIT Grad. You should NO PROBLEM getting interviews.
Having said that take these courses at Berkeley: I know MIT won't
have a lot of courses, actually Michael Perrott teaches a high speed
class at MIT and is available on opencourseware: ocw.mit.edu.
Advanced Analog Integrated Circuits at Berkeley
Advanced Integrated Circuits for Communications at Berkeley
Interfaces (Data Conversion) at Berkeley
Those three and you
should be all set.
Take Digital Integrated Circuits if you want
Post subject: hiPosted: Mon Dec
19, 2005 4:57 pm
What was management consulting like ?
Post subject: Posted: Mon Dec 19, 2005 5:47 pm
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 2:02 pm
From your description
it looks like you have a good background and a passion for circuit design.
As suggested here you should take these advanced courses, which ususally
are a part of the Master´s program, they will pave you the way for a
career as an IC designer.
And yes, today much of the work is
being done with CAE tools and you should have a good knowledge and know-how
with these$$$. But this is usually being part of the course that you
will take. If you know the basics of how to use one tool, you will know
how to use them all. They are pretty much the same. You also have to
be familair with the design flow of an IC.
I am sure that with
your enthusiasm which not so many people have nowadays you will reach
Good luck! and keep us posted concerning your career
Post subject: Job decisionPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2006
Thanks for all the advice and encouragement! After some
months of aggressive job searching, got two Analog Design entry level
opps. at Intel and Agilent (now Avago).
Jut wondering, my Intel
offer is to join a team that designs PLLs for microprocessors to correct
clock skew etc., and the one at Agilent is either to join as an analog
IC design engineer in mobile imaging sensors, or as a test engineer
in RF. Do you think it is better to start off as a designer in an area
not related to RFIC, eg. imaging sensors, so that you have a good grasp
of design tools, CMOS etc., or better to start out as an RFIC test engineer.
I am thinking that my longer term goal will be to do RFIC design. IR
and others, would love to hear you views on this.
on this post asked what management consulting is like. It involves a
lot of problem solving just like engineering, just that you solve business
problems; eg. what are the most attractive market segments for oil company
X to enter in China? How much should company Y pay to acquire company
Z, etc. I think the key difference is that you spend 50% of your time
on problem solving, and the 50% on promoting your ideas to client and
team members(very much like selling in that sense). My sense is that
in engineering, a greater percentage of your time is devoted to problem
solving. Hope this helps.
GoodPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2006 2:38 pm
Both jobs are good.
Intel job -- how high in frequency is the PLL running at ? If it's above
1GHz, then you can learn high speed and microwave design anyway -- since
at those frequencies it's fast just like in an RFIC !
the Intel once, since starting in design is always better. Also, you
can learn and take courses from Stanford for example towards a MSEE
which can all be done online, since you are from MIT you can do this,
company will pay for it and then you can take RFIC courses, anlog ic
courses or whatever you need.
Avago treats people better, but
just get into Design.
Management Consulting sounds boring. Just
taking people out, to restaurants.
subject: ~50MHZ onlyPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 9:33 am
I think the PLL runs at around 50MHz only. Pardon
my ignorance, but are PLLs implemented in microprocessors the same way
as they are in RF blocks (eg. circuit topology, process technology etc.)
assuming for a moment that the PLL was implemented for speeds above
Just trying to assess if I would learn anything useful
at Intel to kickstart an RF career given that 1) the PLL at Intel will
be developed for a microprocessor, not an RF circuit and 2) It will
be running at a slow speed, only around 50MHz.