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Archive for 2021

Jan 18 $17B WAFER FAB!! Really?

Thursday, December 30th, 2021

Date: Jan 18, 2022

Time: 6-8 PM CST

Venue:  Virtual Zoom Meeting

Title:  17 billion Dollars!!! Really?


The Austin local and National Newspapers, both technical and popular, trumpet the choice of Taylor TX for Samsung’s next Semiconductor Factory.  These headlines almost always emphasize the bit of information that the plant is expected to cost 17 billion Dollars.  That is almost an unimaginable level of expense, yet it is indicative of the cost trends of the industry and the gradual shifting of semiconductor manufacturing to mega-plants, capable of the highest level of integration and the largest wafers.

This talk will examine these cost drivers and attempt to integrate their effect to see just how big the number gets!  Expected contributors on the process side are the expected use of EUV lithography, leading edge materials solutions such as copper interconnect and high-k dielectric and simply the increasing number of metal layers required by advanced designs.  This is coupled however, with the cost effects of the best practices for semiconductor manufacturing:  The effect of 300mm tool cost, the cost of facilities and power, and possible choices made towards production volume and tool redundancy.

Speaker:  Dr Lawrence Larson


Dr. Lawrence Larson, is a retired Professor of Practice in the Electrical Engineering Program of the Ingram School of Engineering at Texas State University. He continues on a part-time basis teaching Semiconductor Device Physics and Semiconductor Manufacturing to the next generation.

  Previously, he had a 20 year career at SEMATECH culminating as the Associate Director of the Front End Processes Division of SEMATECH. Key achievements during that period were the manufacturing improvement of mega-volt and low energy ion implanters, development of vertical furnace technologies and early materials development for high-k and metal gate technologies.

  Of connected interest to the presentation: Dr. Larson currently serves as the Chair of the Central Texas Section of the IEEE, leads the CTS Student Activities effort, is the faculty advisor for the Texas State University Student Branch and Chairs the CTS Electron Devices Chapter. [Whew!]


Video of Presentation:




Nov 16 Lunch and Texas Military Forces Museum Tour

Friday, November 12th, 2021


10:50 AM – 10:55AM  – Meet at front door of County Line on the Lake.

11:00 AM – 11:10 AM –  Join the group and table to sit down.

11:15 AM – 11:30 AM –  2022 Lif Member Officer Election

11:30 AM – 12:45 PM –   Lunch with pre-sekected menu

12: 50 PM  –  1: 15 PM  – Drive to Camp Mabry Maintainence Road Entrence.

1:30 PM    –   2:15 PM   – Guide Tour of Museum at Biulding 6.

2:20 PM –      3:00 PM    – Free time to explore more and/or leave Camp Mabry.


We have been conducting monthly virtual meetings since March 2020. We hope to find you doing well and staying healthy.  For a change, we would like to meet you at the County Line on the Lake BBQ Restaurant at 10:55 AM, buy you a light lunch and conduct our annual election for Year 2022 officers. Following the lunch that will end at 12:45 PM, we would like to invite you to join us for a tour of the Texas Military Force Museum at the Camp Mabry at 1:30 PM.

County Line on The Lake: 5204 FM 2222 Austin, TX 78731 off HWY 360 Tel:512-346-3664

Camp Mabry and Museum Location:  3308 W 35th St., Austin, TX 78703, Building 6, West of Mopac. for info and direction.

The 45,000-square foot Texas Military Forces Museum explores the history of the Lone Star State’s militia and volunteer forces from 1823 to 1903 when the Congress created the National Guard. From 1903 to the present the museum tells the story of the Texas Army and Air National Guard, as well as the Texas State Guard, in both peacetime and wartime. The museum displays dozens of tanks, armored personnel carriers, self-propelled guns, trucks, jeeps, helicopters, jet fighters, observation aircraft and towed artillery pieces.

Please note that A valid, unexpired form of identification with a picture must be presented to enter the post. The security guards might request to a search of the any vehicle coming on post.  (Mask is optional.)





Oct 19 Wireless Communications 2021: An Industry Update

Monday, October 4th, 2021

Date and Time

  • Date: 19 Oct 2021
  • Time: 06:00 PM to 08:00 PM

Speaker: Sarah LaSelva

Topic: Wireless Communications 2021: An Industry Update

Abstract: The wireless industry is currently undergoing the biggest evolution in the last 10 years with the development and deployment of 5G.  But 5G is not the only new technology emerging.  New standards like ORAN and WiFi6 are also disrupting the entire ecosystem.  Add the infrastructure pressures brought on by the global pandemic and a shift to work from home, and it’s easy to say that this is one of the most exciting times in history to be a wireless engineer.  This presentation will give an overview of where the industry is in the 5G roll out, what is coming next for 5G, what ORAN is and how it’s changing our networks, where WiFi6 fits into the picture, and what areas lead researchers are starting to explore for 6G.


6:00 to 6:15 PM – Open for participants to enter and network.
6:15 to 6:30 PM – IEEE LM and CTCN Business meeting and to introduce speaker.
6:30 to 8:00 PM – Formal Program and Q&A.

Recorded video:

PDF of the presentation:

211019 Wireless Industry Update IEEE Austin Meeting


22 September Data Science and Smart Cities

Saturday, September 25th, 2021

Date: 22 Sep 2021, 06:01 PM to 08:00 PM

Speaker: Ted Lehr

Biography: Dr. Ted Lehr is a Data Architect with the City of Austin, Texas facilitating several university-industry-city research, work force and pilot collaborations. He is part of Austin Innovation Office, reporting into the city manager’s chief of staff, advising on technology, businesspartnerships and open data.   Ted Dr. Lehr also lectures in Computer Science at Texas State University he has been recognized as an Outstanding Part-Time Faculty or designated a “Favorite Professor” several times.  Ted received his Ph. D in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon-University.

Topic: Data Science for Smart City

Abstract: In the coming years, new technologies will begin deploying in US cities nationwide, nearly all of them relying on data and data infrastructure to operate and be managed well.   This talk describes some conversations Austin City staff are having with our universities, residents, school and private sector to collaborate on being intentional rather than reactive in the face of this coming technology.

Recorded program:




Aug 17 – Unintended Consequences of Mega-Satellite Constellations on Observational Astronomy

Monday, August 2nd, 2021

Title: Unintended Consequences of Mega-Satellite Constellations on Observational Astronomy

Speaker: Clyde Springen

Abstract: Very large collections of low Earth orbit (LEO) communications and other satellites are currently being launched and likely growing to number in the 10s of thousands. Space X’s Star Link, One Web, and Amazon’s Project Kuiper are examples of these constellation developers. This fact is likely to bring benefits to many people who need access to internet communications across the globe for affordable prices. But there are profound negative side effects on other activities including aesthetic and observational ground-based astronomy and others who appreciate and value the starry sky. These issues have led to active efforts both from the professional astronomical and satellite operator communities to cooperatively address the problems associated with these systems.

This talk will review some of the main issues confronting astronomy and other groups and work that has been done so far in characterizing and mitigating the adverse effects of these constellations. In particular, some of the results of two workshops held by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and American Astronomical Society (AAS) in 2020/21 – SATCON1 and SATCON2 will be reviewed.

Bio: Clyde Springen is a retired software, electrical, and systems engineer and educator who spent the majority of his career in aerospace in the defense and space industries. This included positions at Texas Instruments, Lockheed Missiles and Space, Northrup Grumman, and TEXTRON. In addition to full-time industry work, he also taught transferable college credit courses in Solar System and Stellar Astronomy and Introduction to Engineering and Circuits courses as an Adjunct Professor of Astronomy and Engineering at Austin Community College. Clyde is a life member of the IEEE and serves as secretary to the life members group in Austin.

Date & Time: August 17, 6pm



Recorded Video:




July 20 – MRAM, a New Memory Technology

Monday, July 12th, 2021
Speaker: Syed M Alam, PhD of Everspin Technologies, Inc
Topic: MRAM, a New Memory Technology

Magnetoresistive Random Access Memory (MRAM) technology was introduced into the market last decade in the form of Toggle MRAM. Spin Transfer Torque (STT) MRAM, the next generation of Magnetic Tunnel Junction (MTJ) based memory, has now become available offering higher density and bandwidth. This talk will cover the device and design fundamentals, associated challenges, and the outlook of this evolving MTJ based memory.

Biography: Syed M. Alam is currently the Sr. Director of Design engineering at Everspin Technologies leading the design functional areas for embedded and standalone STT-MRAM. He has worked on various aspects of design including bitcell, array circuits, architecture, and new product introduction supporting test and DDR high-speed characterization for STT-MRAM. Dr. Alam received his BS degree in Electrical Engineering from UT Austin in 1999, MS and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT in 2001 and 2004, respectively. He has mentored/co-advised 5 PhD students for research on 3D integration and logic-in-memory architecture. Dr. Alam has over 90 issued US patents, and multiple journal/conference publications.

Date: 20 Jul 2021

Time: 06:00 PM to 08:00 PM


June 15 – Classic Car Restoration – System Approach

Thursday, May 27th, 2021

IEEE CTS LM-CTCN Jun 15, 2021 Meeting.

Topic: Classic Car Restoration – System Approach

Date: June 15, 2021

Time: 6-8 PM CST

Venue: Virtual meeting with Zoom

Abstract:  Engineers like to get their hands dirty and tinker with things during weekends after a busy week in order to relax.  For retired engineer Terry Lawell, it is natural for him to spend more time on his hobby of fixing and restoring his own sports car. In this talk, he will tell his story of accidentally jumping into a new business of restoring and selling classic sports car and his system engineering approach to each unique project. Terry received the joy of completing each project and a little profit.

Bio: Terry Lawell joined Sperry/Univac as a Field Engineer in Houston after he completed his US Air Force duty in 1966. He ventured into the main frame computer field in Univac and Datapoint till 1978. He joined Motorola Semiconductor Austin in 1978 as Product Proposal Engineer in the Microprocessor Division. He later joined the design team as System Engineer and involved in developing the 680X family and later the RISC Architecture 88K family Microprocessor as well as R&D in Neural Network and Vector computing. Terry moved to AMD for few years and then joined Cadence in 2000 as consultant for computer modeling and verification. He then joined Verilab, another design tools co. In 2005. Terry retired in 2010 from the chip related industry.  He was awarded10 patents in communications and microprocessor architecture from his work at Motorola (7) and AMD (3).   His hobby after retirement is to restore his old sports car.

May 18 – Battery Energy Storage Technology – The Nexus of ALL Energy.

Sunday, May 9th, 2021
Description: Energy is fundamental to all human endeavor. Indeed, human quality of life is directly correlated to availability of energy. But, this metric is changing, again, in dramatic fashion. Previously unrelated energy sectors (oil and electricity for example) are becoming irreversibly intertwined. “New energy” (e-frack natural gas, solar, and wind)  are already replacing “old energy”(coal, and oil). As clean technologies work to displace the carbon intensive incumbents, one technology stands at the center of it all, allowing the transition to proceed at scale, and ushering in a new world of possibilities: Battery Energy Storage Technology – The Nexus of ALL Energy.
Speaker: Thomas Ortman, Chief Technology Officer, Voltabox of Texas, Inc.
Thomas Ortman is the Chief Technology Officer for Voltabox of Texas, Inc., a subsidiary of Germany-based Voltabox AG, a publicly traded, multi-national corporation manufacturing electro-mobility solutions with highly engineered battery energy storage systems (BESS). These systems are applied in a broad cross-section of industrial sectors from municipal buses, mining, forklifts and agriculture, to locomotives and e-bikes. Voltabox also provides BESS to stationary applications. Mr. Ortman served as CEO of Voltabox of Texas, Inc. from July 2018-July 2019.
Prior to Voltabox, Mr. Ortman was Founder, President and CEO of Concurrent Design, Inc., which was acquired by Voltabox in March 2018. Founded in 1994, Concurrent Design was an engineering consulting firm with core skills in industrial product development, manufacturing automation and test equipment. With a focus on the electronics, semiconductor and clean technology market segments, Voltabox is a natural segue. Mr. Ortman is a mechanical engineer and an expert in product design and development.
Thomas Ortman is also active in the following; Clean Tech Leaders Roundtable, Clean Energy Business Network, Founding Member and Advisory Board Member, CleanTX; Member, Austin Regional Manufacturers Association (ARMA); Mentor, University of Texas IC2 Austin Technology Incubator Texas Venture Mentor Service (mentoring battery start-ups; Member, Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL). Prior roles include; Chairman, Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI) Texas Chapter; Founder, Solar Energy Entrepreneur Network (SEEN), Advisor – Physical Sciences for Central Texas Regional Center of Innovation and Commercialization (RCIC) of the Texas (State) Emerging Technology Fund (TETF); Member, Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce Clean Energy Council (GACC CEC).
Date: Tuesday, May 18th, 2021
Time: 6:00pm
6:00 to 6:15 PM – Enter the virtual meeting room and chat with your friends.
6:20 PM and on — Please mute audio and turn off video. Meeting will start. Use chat box to ask questions.


Sunday, March 28th, 2021

Date & Time: 20 Apr 2021, 06:00 PM to 08:00 PM

Title: Software Defined Radio for Amateur Radio Communication

Speaker: Phil Bautista of Bull Creek Data, Senior Consultant

Biography: Phil Bautista is a Senior IEEE Member whose Superpower is leading teams of people with disparate backgrounds to accomplish common goals.  He likens it to making “Stone Soup” where you have none of the ingredients but organize often antithetic resources to align and achieve desired outcomes. While he has been an individual contributor building hardware to interface flight controls for the Apache helicopter to multi-ship simulators, written code for a bi-directional interface between the F-16 triaxial data bus to a PC, some of his most gratifying work has been leading teams to bring ideas to life such as the world’s first microprocessor controlled SCUBA diving computer. His work with NASA has provided the opportunity to learn how to pilot the Space Shuttle, develop applications that manage exemptions to work during missions, and even solve complex issues without the ability to touch a keyboard.

Founding a consulting company in 1996 and working with clients like Starbucks, Dell, and Capitol One in the private sector, Baylor College of Medicine, State University of New York (SUNY), and the University of Arizona (U of A) in the educational sector as well as the Air Force, Navy and the U.S. House of Representatives. Phil is a frequent speaker at technical conferences and volunteering his time as an executive board member for conferences.  He is also an officer of the Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES).

Abstract: Amateur Radio or “HAM” transceivers have typically been large rectangular boxes with a myriad switches, knobs and meters.  With the advent of digital signal processing and other technology available today, the functions of yesteryear’s Ham radios can be handled digitally including the display and controls.  Software Defined Radios eliminate the bulk and weight of traditional transceivers.  Some SDR’s are connected to the internet and perform the receive function available to all including those without a license due to the “receive only” functionality.  Some SDR transceivers are also available over the internet and allow the licensed operator to remotely control the functions of the radio from anywhere they have an internet connection. This presentation describes the concept of the Software Defined Radio and the application in HAM radio. He will show what they look like in comparison to traditional equipment and will demonstrate the functions of both a receiver as well as a transceiver.  There is even a phone app that acts as an SDR for licensed users!


SDR Presentation (slides) & Video link


Wednesday, March 3rd, 2021

Date and Time: 16 Mar 2021, 06:00 PM to 08:00 PM

Title: Rolled-Ribbon – Hi-Power Hi-Capacity Li-ion Batteries

Abstract: Over the past twenty years, the demand for Lithium-ion batteries has grown from virtually zero to more than $55 billion. In the past fifteen years, the high-power high-capacity segment of the Lithium-ion battery market has been growing from zero to more than $45 billion. Until now, Lithium-ion batteries were based on the decades-old cylindrical, pouch, and prismatic cell designs. These work well for low-power low-capacity applications. But they do not scale up well to meet demands for increasing power and capacity.  Rolled-Ribbon® is a novel new technology that was specifically developed to address the scalability issues and to become a new standard for high-power high-capacity Lithium-ion batteries. This presentation will introduce the attendee to the new Rolled-Ribbon® technology.

Speaker: Joel Sandhal of Rolled-Ribbon Battery Company LLC


Recording of presentation: