Marcel Pelgrom consults on analog IC design.

Opinion

The expectation bar

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Will there ever be a technology that can compare to silicon integration? Marcel Pelgrom hopes so.

Some 40 years ago, I attended a lecture by a veteran professor, a true teacher. Where today most Powerpoint fetishists use advanced features to retain the visual attention of the audience, he just drew a horizontal line on the blackboard. The expectation bar, he called it. His talk was about which technological developments had exceeded his expectations and which he considered to be underperforming.

In the last category, a few themes appeared, like space exploration. Ten years before, the astronauts had visited the moon, but what had been the benefit to humanity? Another one was the perceptron: an attempt to mimic human intelligence in a machine. The only noteworthy thing that came from that was the “2001, a space odyssey” movie (1968).

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