Picocom are at the forefront of 'small cell' 5G technology and I thought it would be exciting to be working on the 'front lines'." Lewis

Name: Lewis

Sponsor: Picocom

University: University of Bath

Degree Course: MEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering

What appeals to me about Electronics?

Electronics appealed to me because it explains at the lowest level what is actually happening under the hood of a computer. It was never enough to know how computers worked behaviourally, I wanted to understand exactly what was happening to the flow of information and how it was processed. However, electronics also avoids becoming tedious by allowing for higher level abstractions of these concepts to be applied through things like HDL’s and C scripts.

Why I chose Picocom?

Firstly, they are a chip designer for 5G applications. The two most interesting areas of my degree were digital systems design and comms principles, and I knew Picocom could help me decide which I wanted to specialise in. Secondly, they are at the forefront of “small cell” 5G technology and I thought it would be exciting to be working on the “front lines”. Thirdly, the interview process gave me reassurance about the team I would be working with, it was smooth, challenging (in a good way), and without so much of a whiff of deep bureaucracy.

My placement

I was involved with two key projects. First was to verify the use of a an on chip component for the generation of random numbers by proving “true randomness” could be extracted from it to remove the need to purchase an external HRNG (Hardware Random Number Generator). Secondly, I helped to extend the coverage of the regression tool used for repeated testing of the chip by adding testcases to the CI (Continuous Integration) framework and creating new tests in C when old tests weren’t applicable. Both projects were important work that were valued by the team and thus gave me a great sense of accomplishment.

My interests

As for me, I like to spend my free time reading, generally fantasy and sci-fi novels, with my favourite being The Farseer trilogy. I also enjoy gaming, generally fantasy or sci-fi RPGS, with my favourite being the Witcher 3. In addition, I’m very much into sports and fitness. I love long distance running and have been training in kickboxing and taekwondo since I was 14.

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