IBM Tucson people and professions

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Electrical engineering

If you're an electrical engineer looking for challenge and room to grow, you already know that the data processing industry is the most exciting field for you. Perhaps you also know that IBM offers more opportunity for creative engineers than any other company in the industry. What you may not know, however, is exactly what IBM's electrical engineers do at the company's facility in Tucson.

Electrical engineering is a key profession within IBM Tucson's development lab, test lab, and its manufacturing plant. The development lab creates and develops better ways of storing, retrieving and printing information. Electrical engineers in Tucson help devise the basic concepts that make those improvements possible, and they help develop the technologies that transform those concepts into working machines.

The test lab is an independent organization separate from the development lab. It evaluates IBM Tucson's products for function and performance to determine whether those products adhere to IBM specifications, and to evaluate the adequacy of those specifications. Electrical engineers in the test lab play key roles in providing better, more dependable products for IBM's customers.

Electrical engineers in the manufacturing plant answer the question, "Can this product be manufactured and tested?" and solve problems that stand in the way of an affirmative answer. They help transform laboratory models into production machines that perform for customers according to IBM's exacting specifications.

To accomplish those broadly defined goals, electrical engineers are engaged in a wide range of activities. Following are descriptions of some of them.

Electromagnetic compatibility, acoustic engineering

Data processing equipment emits electromagnetic and acoustic noise, and is often bombarded by such emanations from other sources. Engineers working in this field ensure that emissions from IBM Tucson's products remain within acceptable levels. They also ensure that Tucson's products are not adversely affected by emissions from other sources.

Engineers in this department give design guidance and support to circuit, logic, mechanical, and manufacturing engineers during every phase of product development, test and manufacture. They use the most up-to-date, state-of-the-art materials, analysis and instrumentation available.

Power systems design engineering

An integral part of every new product design is the power system needed to meet the product's unique requirements. Engineers in this field begin by defining the power requirements of each new system. They are involved with many technology tradeoffs regarding power efficiency, cost maintainability and other factors which influence machine architecture.

The power engineer is involved with the product through the entire design, test and manufacturing cycle. Automated design and analysis tools are continuously updated and applied to those design and support tasks.

VLSI design

Engineers and programmers interested in solving a wide variety of problems using leading edge technologies and equipment are needed to design VLSI (very large scale integrated) circuits. The key components of VLSI design are architecture, logic design, circuit design, layout design, and tools development.

The architect analyzes the requirements of the machine under development, selects a technology and develops the framework for the design.

Logic and circuit designers use computer models to simulate the chip logic and circuits as they design them, to verify that the circuit will function according to plan.

Layout designers take a set of circuits and a logic print and interconnect the circuits to form a multi-layered VLSI chip layout using computerized interactive graphic equipment.

Programmers in the tools development group develop software to automate the logic design, circuit design and layout processes for VLSI design.

Design automation engineering

This discipline requires a blend of electrical engineering and computer science skills not often found in one individual. Interested electrical engineers can develop their computer science skills with the help of IBM's many education and training programs.

Computer-aided design (CAD) plays an important part in the design of high technology electronic logic and circuit packaging processes. The engineer combines his or her knowledge of the design process, of programming, and of computer systems to optimize the efficiency of the logic design process.

The design automation engineer evaluates and defines requirements for both hardware and software tools used in design automation, develops new tools as required, integrates them into the total system environment, develops design methodologies involving their use, and provides consultation to end users as required.

Test engineering

Test engineers are IBM's most severe critics, stressing IBM products in every dimension to ensure top performance for customers. Electrical engineers working in the test lab begin by establishing the test process. They define the test concept, design the test system, perfect it, and generate test procedures. They also work with people in manufacturing and cost control, and become involved with new products as they are developed.

Manufacturing engineering

Manufacturing engineers review engineering product documentation to assure that the product can be manufactured and tested. Of particular concern is the question of whether new technologies can be transferred from the laboratory to the manufacturing line. Each individual part of the machine must meet IBM standards for performance and safety, the machine must be manufacturable at a competitive cost, and it must perform to IBM specifications. Manufacturing engineers see to it that the 10,000th machine performs for the customer at least as well as the development model performed in the laboratory.

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