Ones to Watch: Broadcom Lauds Engineers with Distinguished Careers

Take a stroll down Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, and you’ll see the names of some of the finest actors to grace the silver screen. Take a stroll down Broadcom’s hallowed halls, and you’ll see the names associated with some of the finest minds in engineering.

They are the shining stars in their field, the ones who have applied their intellect, ingenuity and discipline to have an impact at Broadcom and the semiconductor industry at large.

“They are routinely asked to make technology breakthroughs so our customers can bring the best products to market ahead of the competition,” Broadcom Co-Founder, Chairman and Chief Technical Officer Henry Samueli said. “Our technical innovations would not be possible without our incredible staff of brilliant and driven engineers.”

This week at an internal technical confab held in Irvine, Calif., Broadcom awarded its most prestigious honor — the title of  Broadcom Fellow or Distinguished Engineer — to a select few engineers who have demonstrated tremendous expertise, leadership and creativity in furthering the company’s technical legacy.

In Broadcom’s 21-year-history, only a few dozen people have met the very rigorous requirements to achieve its highest honor. Soon, Sophie Wilson and Vinko Erceg’s names were added to this elite cadre as members of the newest class of Broadcom Fellows.

Sophie Wilson
Sophie Wilson

About Sophie Wilson

Sophie Wilson began her brilliant career as an undergraduate at Cambridge University.  Along the road to her current job as Senior Technical Director of DSL Engineering for the Broadband Communications Group, she has logged a substantial list of accomplishments. She holds 35 patents, with more pending.

The next time you grab your smartphone to check your email or post a Tweet, take a moment to thank her. The processor that powers your phone is the direct descendant of the Acorn Computers’ first Advanced RISC Machine processor, or ARM processor, that Sophie co-created in the late 1970s.

Those chips allow your devices to consume far less energy and operate much more quickly. More than 50 billion chips powered by ARM design have shipped since Sophie developed the original architecture, which has remained mostly unchanged.

Most people would be utterly content with establishing the legacy of the ARM processor. Not Sophie Wilson. She hasn’t slowed down since. Her most recent work has focused on the FirePath processor—a processor that will be used in high-density G. fast chips, which will be used to provide ultra-fast, high-quality broadband service at Gigabit or higher speeds.

Her list of professional accolades is also impressive: She is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Society, the British Computer Society and the Women’s Engineering Society. She was named a Computer History Museum Fellow in 2012.  And just this year, she was named the 2014 winner in the Computing and Telecommunications category of The Economist’s Innovation Awards.  She has a master of arts degree in computer science from Cambridge University.

Vinko Erceg
Vinko Erceg

About Vinko Erceg  

Vinko Erceg, Ph.D., is a Senior Technical Director in the Wireless LAN systems team in the  Mobile & Wireless Group. He joined Broadcom in 2004 and became the standards lead for the WLAN group in 2006.

He is known for his tireless commitment to his field, including his contributions to wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) standards and systems, which enable high-speed data transfers without using any cables or wire. Wireless LAN — better known by consumers as Wi-Fi — is governed by a series of standards called IEEE 802.11-1999.  Erceg was very active in developing key standards such as  Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) technology, which allows those wireless LAN systems to evolve further and become even faster.  Broadcom is now the industry leader in developing new WLAN specifications, thanks to his contributions.

Erceg became an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Fellow in 2007 in recognition of his contributions to wireless channel propagation modeling and signal processing. His name regularly appears in industry journals, and he frequently presents to standardization groups for IEEE, Wi-Fi Alliance and 3GPP.

Like Wilson, Erceg also holds a lengthy list of U.S. patents, demonstrating his commitment to his field. In fact, he currently holds or co-holds 125 patents, but since he has submitted more than 200 patent applications, more are surely on the way.

He earned a Ph.D. and Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering at City University of New York.

Ten Broadcom employees were also recognized as Distinguished Engineers for their problem-solving expertise and skill.

The 2014 class of Broadcom Distinguished Engineers includes:

  • Ali Afsahi, Ph.D., Senior Manager for the RF team in the Mobile & Wireless Group. Ali has contributed directly to the success of wireless connectivity products with his work on RF CMOS power amplifiers and front-end switches, helping Broadcom become a leader in connectivity.
  • Jennifer Chiao, M.S., Associate Director for Library Development in the Operations & Central Engineering Group. Jennifer has applied her considerable technical expertise to important projects such as identifying chip qualification failures and resolving production issues.
  • Bruce Kwan, Ph.D., Technical Director for the Traffic Management Architecture team in the Infrastructure & Networking Group. Bruce is considered Broadcom’s resident expert on memory management and congestion/traffic management.
  • Rajesh Mamidwar, B.T., Technical Director on the Digital Video Technology team in the Broadband Communications Group. He has achieved significant success in the arena of transport, networking and video/audio stream processing for set-top boxes.
  • Kevin Miller, M.S., Technical Director for the Residential Broadband team in the Broadband Communications Group. Kevin is being recognized for his success as with modem systems and architectures projects.
  • Eric Ojard, M.A., Associate Technical Director for the Wireless LAN Systems team in the Mobile & Wireless Group. Broadcom’s products have a performance advantage over the competition, thanks to Eric’s development of proprietary wires LAN algorithms.
  • Sergei Podshivalov, M.S., Senior Technical Director for the GPS team in the Mobile & Wireless Group. As Broadcom’s resident expert on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), Sergei has served as software lead for numerous GNSS projects.
  • Timothy Scranton, B.S., Technical Director in the Operations & Central Engineering Group. Broadcom can thank Timothy for developing the original hardware and software that led to the testing of all the company’s current radio-based products.
  • Eric Spada, M.S., Technical Director in the Controller, Processors and Switch (CPX) business unit in the Infrastructure & Networking Group. Eric’s noteworthy accomplishments include his expertise in the chip design process and his contributions to the architecture of Broadcom’s Communication Processor family, as well as home and small business switches.
  • Steve Wu, M.S., Associate Technical Director for the RF team in the Mobile & Wireless Group. Steve is one of the key engineers on Broadcom’s radio team and has contributed greatly to the design of wireless connectivity radios.