Tag Archives: FPGA

This week, I wanted to get a little more hardcore with the electronics and explain one of the products I once worked on: the Engine Control Unit (ECU) of a Formula 1 racing car. Some 10 years ago, I worked for a UK company that designed and built electronics for a large proportion of the racing world. From Formula Ford to World Rally cars, from go carts to NASCAR cars, their electronics found their way in. They designed things like data loggers, sensors, full car looms, and even the £50,000 steering wheels you used to see in the Ferrari Formula 1 cars. However, the really clever stuff was carried out inside the ECU. The basics of a car engine are easy to understand: suck in some air, mix a little fuel, add a little spark, and bang! You get a big explosion and lots of smelly gases which you throw…

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Racking my brain, thinking back to classes in school, it’s difficult to remember individual ones. Sure, I remember the tracks: the circuits, the signals, the flux-type classes, the programming (ick), the general education requirements (始めまして) and the silly physical education classes (jogging? really?). However, the specific topics, class names, course numbers…none of it sticks out as much as the professors. Why? Because I’m human. You probably are too (I hope). And humans relate to memories and stories by the people contained within those stories. That’s why politicians love telling stories about downtrodden citizens whom they helped help themselves. Or whatever. I recall a teacher in particular that helped me (in this example, let’s call him Dr. P.); by extension, I recall his class. The reason I remembered it all? Well, it was hardly because of the class itself. It’s because he ended up as my boss! As a backstory, I was…

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