How Did I Get Here?
Remembering Don Loughry
“How did you get involved in standards,” I was asked.
On a business trip to India in 2009, I was asked to come by the Mentor office in Noida to meet with some “freshers” and other participants in Mentor’s Displaced Worker Program who were in the middle of a SystemVerilog training. As one of many who have been engaged in the development of the SystemVerilog (aka IEEE Std 1800™-2009) standard the past decade, they were curious to know how I became involved in the development of this standard.
“How did you get involved in standards,” I was asked.
“My work on SystemVerilog comes from an early exposure to IEEE standards, much like you are getting today,” I told them.
In the late 1970’s a visiting lecture from Hewlett-Packard spent a year at UC Davis where I went to school. One of the courses I took was a hardware interface to computers course that borrowed from the Hewlett-Packard Interface Bus (HP-IB). While we all called the protocol HP-IB, it was already an IEEE standard. Today it is known as IEEE Std 488.1™-2003.
In addition to the normal material that had to be purchased for the class, I also had to buy a copy of the IEEE standard. My first thought was the standard was expensive! When looking inside the standard, it looked more like a someone used an IBM Selectric typewriter to write it and inserted hand-drawn state diagrams. Maybe I bought a draft of the standard instead. This is not at all the IEEE standards of today.
Recently I visited IEEE Xplore and downloaded the current standard and the content, as I would expect, looks nothing like the one I bought for my class. Print was professional as all the standards look today. Even the state diagrams are computer generated.
This was my first IEEE standard I bought, studied and built prototype interfaces to connect. While one might have expected we would have spent 100% of our course time on the application of what we were learning, we did not. We got a dose of indoctrination on the importance of standards. “There may be times in your professional career where you may need to volunteer on standards development: Do it,” we were told.
This is the story I related to those learning SystemVerilog in Noida. I told them the knowledge they gain may prove to be indispensable in the work they do in the years ahead. But thank you for the question on how I got involved in standards, as it reminds me I should encourage you to be mindful of standards in your future. Let me pass on what I learned from Hewlett-Packard that if there is a time in your professional career where you may need to volunteer for standards development: Do it.
My Mentor, In Pectore
In late 2006, my home phone number rings. I answer. “Hi, this is Don Loughry calling on behalf of the IEEE and I have some good news to share with you.” “What is the good news,” I ask. “You have been elected to the IEEE Standards Association Board of Governors. As past chair it is my privilege to bring you this news,” he says. […] “Thank you, I look forward to serving,” I said as I concluded the call.
Many weeks later, my office number rings and I answer. “Hi this is Don Loughry calling. Dennis, is this you,” he asks. “Yes, this is Dennis,” I say. “Did you see the email I sent to you asking if you would join the Charles Proteus Steinmetz awards committee,” he asked. “No, I can’t recall seeing that email. Does your email come in with your first or last name listed,” I asked. “Neither,” Don told me. “You will see my email address as ‘Sunkist,’” he said. “Oh, I thought I got some message from the ‘orange company’ and did not read it. Let me do that now,” I said. And, yes I joined the committee. [From this moment on, Don Loughry was known to me as Sunkist, though I never told him.]
Not too long ago, I related the story of getting involved in standards – the story above – with the now chair of the IEEE SA BoG, Steve Mills. Steve is with Hewlett-Packard Co. and told me that standardization of HP-IB/IEEE 488 was the work of Don Loughry. He was also instrumental in setting a corporate culture that was pro-standardization and Steve told me the encouragement I got to “think standards” while in college is “all Don.”
Interesting, I thought. How I got here has a lot to do with what Don Loughry has done. This was not self evident to me, and kept in secret, in pectore, to me and Don for that matter. Don, my mentor, in pectore.
As you have read the title of the blog, you know there is some sad news to share. This is it:
Don passed away about a month ago. And as I write this, family and friends plan to gather this weekend to remember him. While his life will be recounted by personal and professional accomplishments extraordinaire – and Don’s are certainly substantial by any measure – his ripples on the pond of life continue to radiate and touch many. In my case, his call to volunteer for standards has become my endeavor. As Don has called to action, I have with those I met in Noida in 2009, as I do now with you dear reader of this blog.
Expression of Gratitude
While Don led the development of IEEE 488, he was also key to the development of IEEE 802.3 (the Ethernet LAN standard) that connects 100’s of millions of machines around the world today. We should all be grateful for that.
He launched the IEEE Standards Association and served as its first president. We all benefit from his vision. Standards developers around the globe are grateful for this.
And as for Don appointing me to be a member of the Charles Proteus Steinmetz committee, I went on to be its chair for a couple years. I am grateful for his trust.
As an aside, Don was given the 2003 Steinmetz award. Having been on the committee and its chair, I was offered one action of privilege this year. And that was to appoint myself to be a member of the committee a last time as its past chair. I appointed myself. Thank you Don for your initial appointment to this committee.
The week before last, while in India, after concluding a long week of meetings for the IEEE SA Corporate Advisory Group, it was bittersweet as I dialed into my last Steinmetz committee meeting. I could not finish the call in my hotel room before having to check out and share a ride to the Bangalore airport. Therefore I continued the call on my mobile phone in the car. I thank my friend from Broadcom for sharing his car to the airport with me. And, knowing Broadcom may like 802.3 a bit, perhaps I can be forgiven for this minor annoyance – knowing the rest of the story now. After all, “How did I get here?” How did I become to be on the phone for this call at this moment? In large measure by Don, the same person who helped sow the seeds that Broadcom reaps today with 802.3.
Yes, I know why Don’s email address has “sunkist” in it. I came to learn why when we were on the Stienmetz committee together when he participated as “past chair.” And no, it is not about oranges. However, oranges will be one of those things that will remind me of him. So why it is his email address that way? Well, let’s say that is one thing I will keep in pectore.
Posted March 22nd, 2012, by Dennis Brophy
- Loading tweets...
- Loading tweets...
- Loading tweets...
- DVCon 2014 Issue of Verification Horizons Now Available
- DVCon–The FREE Side
- More DVCon–More Mentor Tutorials!
- UVM 1.2: Open Public Review
- DVCon 2014: Standards on Display
- Just because FPGAs are programmable doesn’t mean verification is dead
- Managing Verification Coverage Information
- Epilogue: The 2012 Wilson Research Group Functional Verification Study
- New Verification Horizons Issue Available
- Happy Halloween from ARM TechCon
- March 2014 (1)
- February 2014 (5)
- January 2014 (1)
- November 2013 (2)
- October 2013 (3)
- September 2013 (2)
- August 2013 (4)
- July 2013 (6)
- Part 7: The 2012 Wilson Research Group Functional Verification Study
- Walking in the Desert or Drinking from a Fire Hose?
- Part 6: The 2012 Wilson Research Group Functional Verification Study
- A Short Class on SystemVerilog Classes
- Part 5: The 2012 Wilson Research Group Functional Verification Study
- Part 4: The 2012 Wilson Research Group Functional Verification Study
- June 2013 (2)
- May 2013 (4)
- April 2013 (2)
- March 2013 (2)
- February 2013 (5)
- January 2013 (1)
- December 2012 (1)
- November 2012 (1)
- October 2012 (4)
- September 2012 (1)
- August 2012 (1)
- July 2012 (6)
- June 2012 (1)
- May 2012 (3)
- March 2012 (1)
- February 2012 (6)
- January 2012 (2)
- December 2011 (2)
- November 2011 (2)
- October 2011 (3)
- September 2011 (1)
- July 2011 (3)
- June 2011 (6)
- Intelligent Testbench Automation Delivers 10X to 100X Faster Functional Verification
- Part 9: The 2010 Wilson Research Group Functional Verification Study
- Verification Horizons DAC Issue Now Available Online
- Accellera & OSCI Unite
- The IEEE’s Most Popular EDA Standards
- UVM Register Kit Available for OVM 2.1.2
- May 2011 (2)
- April 2011 (7)
- User-2-User’s Functional Verification Track
- Part 7: The 2010 Wilson Research Group Functional Verification Study
- Part 6: The 2010 Wilson Research Group Functional Verification Study
- SystemC Day 2011 Videos Available Now
- Part 5: The 2010 Wilson Research Group Functional Verification Study
- Part 4: The 2010 Wilson Research Group Functional Verification Study
- Part 3: The 2010 Wilson Research Group Functional Verification Study
- March 2011 (5)
- February 2011 (4)
- January 2011 (1)
- December 2010 (2)
- October 2010 (3)
- September 2010 (4)
- August 2010 (1)
- July 2010 (3)
- June 2010 (9)
- The reports of OVM’s death are greatly exaggerated (with apologies to Mark Twain)
- New Verification Academy Advanced OVM (&UVM) Module
- OVM/UVM @DAC: The Dog That Didn’t Bark
- DAC: Day 1; An Ode to an Old Friend
- UVM: Joint Statement Issued by Mentor, Cadence & Synopsys
- Static Verification
- OVM/UVM at DAC 2010
- DAC Panel: Bridging Pre-Silicon Verification and Post-Silicon Validation
- Accellera’s DAC Breakfast & Panel Discussion
- May 2010 (9)
- Easier UVM Testbench Construction – UVM Sequence Layering
- North American SystemC User Group (NASCUG) Meeting at DAC
- An Extension to UVM: The UVM Container
- UVM Register Package 2.0 Available for Download
- Accellera’s OVM: Omnimodus Verification Methodology
- High-Level Design Validation and Test (HLDVT) 2010
- New OVM Sequence Layering Package – For Easier Tests
- OVM 2.0 Register Package Released
- OVM Extensions for Testbench Reuse
- April 2010 (6)
- SystemC Day Videos from DVCon Available Now
- On Committees and Motivations
- The Final Signatures (the meeting during the meeting)
- UVM Adoption: Go Native-UVM or use OVM Compatibility Kit?
- UVM-EA (Early Adopter) Starter Kit Available for Download
- Accellera Adopts OVM 2.1.1 for its Universal Verification Methodology (UVM)
- March 2010 (4)
- February 2010 (5)
- January 2010 (5)
- December 2009 (15)
- A Cliffhanger ABV Seminar, Jan 19, Santa Clara, CA
- Truth in Labeling: VMM2.0
- IEEE Std. 1800™-2009 (SystemVerilog) Ready for Purchase & Download
- December Verification Horizons Issue Out
- Evolution is a tinkerer
- It Is Better to Give than It Is to Receive
- Zombie Alert! (Can the CEDA DTC “User Voice” Be Heard When They Won’t Let You Listen)
- DVCon is Just Around the Corner
- The “Standards Corner” Becomes a Blog
- I Am Honored to Honor
- IEEE Standards Association Awards Ceremony
- ABV and being from Missouri…
- Time hogs, blogs, and evolving underdogs…
- Full House – and this is no gamble!
- Welcome to the Verification Horizons Blog!
- September 2009 (2)
- July 2009 (1)
- May 2009 (1)