Thursday, April 24, 2008

Yes, its time

Sorry, but I haven't had a chance to update this blog in a while. Seems its crunch time, and our small team is getting buried in its own success.

The good news is: We've been running production on our Java based control system (for semiconductor manufacturing equipment) for more than a year now, at three major customer plants! For the regular 'bread maker', the uptime has been almost astronomical compared to the (similar) beta release of the last control system do-over that I remember back-when in 1995. I know, thats along time ago, but things move slow in the semiconductor machine control world. I believe my distinguished colleague Doug Locke at some point called embedded developers 'as conservative as cats', my addition to this only would be that our trade also only 'moves like humans dinosaurs', which makes for rather slow progress altogether.

In the end, the move was timely, and so far (from the technical aspect), it has been a fun ride. The 'shock and awe' thunder one sometimes gets from management doesn't go away with any technology, I suppose. But at least with the new software framework, we typically can now respond in a way that doesn't kill the entire weekend. Speaking of which, we just got orders/requirements to get a tool ready for Semicon West, so the Java control system we've been working on will be there live running a actual semiconductor machine!