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Express Yourself
  • About

    This blog is all about PCI Express: the wonderful ways that it enhances the products around you, the challenges designers face in implementation, and how the specification is evolving to make PCIe Express an even more useful protocol. I'll also examine how the other specifications, such as NVM Express, SATA Express and SCSI-Over-PCI Express (SOP) are leveraging PCI Express. If there is a topic that is of interest to you, feel free to "Express Yourself" by offering your insights on this blog.
  • About the Author

    Scott Knowlton

    I started out my career as a chip designer in a variety of industries and it’s likely that a few, of the more than 30 designs I’ve been responsible for, are still floating around somewhere in outer space. My IP career started at Synopsys in 1997 and over the last 15 years, I have seen tremendous changes in the semiconductor industry’s perception and adoption of IP. I started working on PCI Express in 2003 when Synopsys was getting ready to launch our first PCI Express IP solution. Since then, I have been managing the DesignWare PCI Express IP product line through all of the changes in the specification and the industry as it moves towards becoming the de-facto interconnect standard. I received a B.S.E.E from the University of Michigan (M Go Blue!), am an avid red wine drinker (love California reds) and use English as a second language when my fluency in sarcasm just doesn’t get the job done.

    Richard Solomon

    I’ve been involved in the development of PCI chips dating back to the NCR 53C810 and pre-1.0 versions of the PCI spec so have definitely lived the evolution of PCI Express and PCI since the very beginning! Over the years I have worked on variations of PCI, eventually moving on to architecting and leading the development of the PCI Express and PCI-X interface cores used in LSI’s line of storage RAID controller chips. For the last ten plus years I've also had the honor of serving on the PCI-SIG Board of Directors and holding a variety of officer positions. I am still involved in PCI-SIG workgroups and I present at many PCI-SIG events around the world. Back before the dawn of PCI, I received my B.S.E.E. from Rice University, and hold over two dozen U.S. Patents, many of which relate to PCI technology.

Introducing Richard Solomon…

Posted by Scott Knowlton on July 17th, 2013

For some of you, you may ask “who is Richard Solomon”, others may ask “what were you thinking”?  Richard is currently the Vice President of the PCI-SIG board, the governing body for PCI/PCI-X/PCI Express specifications and 90 days have already passed since Richard joined us here at Synopsys as a Technical Marketing Manager for PCI Express. We are excited to have him here and be a contributer to our PCI Express team and the great products that we produce. 

I’ve known Richard for 10 years through PCI-SIG and as our friendship has grown, it’s been great that we are fluent in the same language ….sarcasm. The one character flaw that I’m dealing with is his total lack of appreciation for red wine, but I’m working on that. I mean, how can you be part of marketing and not appreciate red wine? I feel an MBO might be in order….

You will be seeing some minor changes to this blog as Richard will be joining me as a co-owner. However, we will both be working to provide you the latest in information, industry trends and insights on PCI Express and related topics. I encourage you to subscribe and take the journey with us if you haven’t done so already.

The following is write up by Richard on why he decided to join Synopsys. I was the first to welcome Richard here, but a big Welcome to Synopsys, Richard!

- Scott Knowlton

It was really great to see so many of you at the recent PCI-SIG Developers Conference, and I do mean many – I believe the official attendance count was 555!  (I sure hope I don’t have to pay Philips a royalty for using that number!)  Ok, so I probably didn’t speak personally with all 555 folks, but I’d not bet against 1/10… we won’t start on who would be the 0.5 person – that’s all government regulated anyway. 

 I was actually quite touched by how many of you took the time to comment, tease, hassle, or otherwise harass me (thanks Gary!) on my new job.  Well, after numerous years of “Two drink minimum” jokes (thanks Mr. Adams) about “BARs”, I agree wholeheartedly – I deserved it :-)

Just in case I missed handing you a paper card, here’s a digital one annotated for your convenience…

Richard's Business Card

Richard's Business Card

…and amusement.  Yeah, I know, it says “Marketing” – I’ll pause for a moment while you laugh yet again. <Insert slightly bored whistling and finger tapping here>  If you’ve got that out of your system…? Good, now let me point out the word “Technical” on that card.  I think the biggest disbelief factor I encounter when explaining that I’d changed employers was people asking how I could ever walk away from the technical side of our industry.  (Well, the phrase “sell your soul” might have been used once or twice, but I knew what they meant.)  My answer is that I firmly believe that I haven’t!

After almost 23 years with the same company (well a succession of names for the same company: NCR Microelectronics, AT&T, Symbios, LSI) doing PCI, PCI-X, and PCI Express development, design, and architecture, I thought it was finally time for a change.  While for the last few years I’ve been helping people throughout one company understand where and how to best use PCI Express in their systems, I’ve traded all that in and now I help people throughout 200-something companies understand where and how to best use PCI Express in their systems.

What’s that you say?  “Richard, it sounds like not much has changed!” 

Ding, ding, ding!  Winner!  Act now and you can have … hmmm, if I keep doing this, I guess I’ll have to come up with occasional prizes as cool as pieces blown up while tuning a car.  (I remind those of you who’ve driven with me that I have NEVER lost a passenger!  I confess that I have had a car salesman beg to be let out on a test drive, but that’s another story.)  While my old business card said “Architect” on it, much of what I did was direct and educate: determining feature sets and priorities, then helping designers within my PCIe development team and across the company implement those in PCI Express controllers; helping verification and validation people doing simulation and silicon work to understand the real-world implications of the PCI Express specification; helping sales and marketing people understand what they were selling and marketing;  helping PCI-SIG members around the world to better understand numerous aspects of PCI Express; etc, etc, etc.  (One of my proudest moments came after the very first time I presented the “PCI-SIG Architecture Overview” in the US when a guy came up to me and said quite enthusiastically “I’m a sales guy, but now I finally feel like I know what I’m selling!  You’ve made me an… an… an… EDUCATED sales guy!” and he walked off in high spirits. [My apologies to the sales guy if I mangled the quote, I’ve long since forgotten his name, and in my defense it was probably 7 years ago.])

 So yes, my new business card says “Marketing” on it, but I will continue to educate if you will continue to listen – and fear not, I will continue to learn from you as well.  The hundreds of new designs I get to be exposed to as part of Synopsys’ global PCIe IP organization guarantees that!  (You *did* also notice that there’s a link beneath each blog posting which  allows you to comment back, didn’t you?)  I write this a few days after my 3rd month with Synopsys and I’ve already learned a ton about areas I only dabbled in before.  Since Scott has allowed me to join him here on ExpressYourself, I will keep you up to date – hopefully for another 20 years or so!

-Richard Solomon

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