What knowledge does an electrotechnical and electronics engineer need to build modern smartphones from the outset?

I must confess that I am an electronics engineer.

A phone is so complex that it is a very difficult question to really answer completely.

Mechanics come to pass, how everything fits together.

How everything is fixed and still can be repaired to some extent.

How everything should also be thermal in order, the Galaxy Note 8 was an example in which the heat of the battery, the battery did turn off and one had no place provided.

Chemistry, batteries contain certain boxin that can emit and absorb energy.

It is important that these substances remain stable enough not to lose capacity directly.

As for electronics, here too you have subareas.

Antenna, to capture and send out the Bluetooth, WiFi and GSM signal (900 and 1800).

PCB designers that put the circuits and discrete components on a board that fits next to the battery.

Analogue designers that amplify signals, e.g. antenna signals, and minimize noise.

Processor architecture specialists who design and optimize the architecture of the processor (now with multiple cores) and the collaboration with the graphical co-processor.

Today, CPU and GPU are also complemented by so-called hardware accelerators, artificial intelligence such as neural networks.

The detection or identification of objects with the camera is possible in real time by these “accelerators”.

Communication protocols and buses that connect the chips together at high speeds.

Some chips are purchased, such as WiFi and Bluetooth chips.

Sometimes only the AFE (analog front-end), sometimes with the digital control there.

To get the chips and chips of others to work together you need embedded software, firmware.

That goes from simple configuration and status reading and writing to an embedded OS like iOS and Android.

There are also the cameras, speakers, microphone, the display,…

This is not knowledge that an engineer possesses from the outset.

Earlier, an engineer remained for a long time, perhaps his entire working life at the same company.

That is no longer the case.

Recruiters called and call it job hopping.

But today, “job hopping” is the only way to work together in various sectors and with various teams to build global knowledge.

Obviously that doesn’t mean 6 months stay anywhere.

I usually stayed between 2 and 4 years.

Got to know different sectors, mixed-signal chips and digital chips.

I have made satellite modems, consumer electronics, communication protocol chips and graphical/KI chips.

I have written application software, drivers and embedded software.

I have done silicon validation and test programs written.

At home I use Raspberry Pi and Arduino, for automatisation at home and for 3D printers and scanners.

By doing, you learn.

Nothing you like to try with electronica at home.

That’s the difference between an employee and someone who doesn’t want to stay an employee.

I wanted to achieve something, not dependent on the political games, the Kuiperijen, the distract and a lot of overtime and not being paid for.

Now more than ever, you decide your own life and your own path.

It is odd that the smartest people, like engineers, still think that employee is the only one in professional life.

While they are dying of stress, while there are so many possibilities.

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