Interview

Raising awareness about electrical intricacies

Nieke Roos
Leestijd: 6 minuten

A trip to Philips Semiconductors in the US made his reputation as an electronic design specialist within Philips. Ever since, Jack Leijssen has been spreading his holistic view on EMC, signal integrity and the like, both inside the company and out, through High Tech Institute.

Jack Leijssen’s career in electronic design really took off with the plane to the States he was put on at the turn of the millennium. “Philips Semiconductors was making cable modem chips there, based on a reference design from Philips CFT in America. But they couldn’t get the design to pass the EMC test. They had issues with the emission and the signal-to-noise ratio. Working as an electronic designer for CFT in Eindhoven, I was sent to help them out. It took me a year and a dozen round trips, but I solved the problems.”

“The IC designers screwed up and I got to clean up their mess,” recounts Leijssen. “They failed to adequately separate the analog and digital parts on the chip. Fixing that was not an option as that would have meant that they would have to start all over again. I had to look for solutions outside the chip. Moving the power supply, for example. And with all kinds of resistors, I was able to curb the currents, thereby reducing the crossover between the digital nets and improving the signal-to-noise ratio to the analog part. I fixed the IC design screwups on the board level.” With this, he cemented his reputation as an electronic design specialist within Philips.

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