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Rookie to Expert - Hardware Engineer Advanced Road (a)

writer: G January 12, 2018

A variety of pinboard, connected various boards. In my pinboard is the socket except for the connector, no IC, there is no resistance and capacitance. It is such a simple job I did for six months. I believe many rookie engineers or graduates who have just started working will encounter such a boring work without technical content when they first started their work. This kind of work can easily be discouraged, complaining for a long time, feeling hopeless, feeling unnoticed. In fact, if you can change the mentality of these jobs, you will have a different harvest.

1. Through six months of work, from the component library, library, schematics to the final layout, the entire process has been very skilled. Proficiency in an EDA design tool is a hardware engineer's basic skills.

2. Although the pinboard, but the above alignment still power lines, RF signals, digital signals, analog signals and so on. So I still have to do digital and analog signal isolation, radio frequency signal processing, system power considerations and so on.

3. Through the signal definition of each interface, you can determine the function and interconnection of each board. Then learned a lot of interface protocol, IIC, SPI, UART and so on.

4. Through each system joint adjustment opportunities, learn the use of commonly used instruments. Such as oscilloscopes, spectrum analyzers, logic analyzers and more.

It should be said that through six months of work, let me from a newly graduated rookie into a beginner hardware engineer. These are the only way for a rookie engineer to grow up. What we can do on this path is to seize every possible opportunity to improve ourselves so that the time to get started is as short as possible. What can we learn in boring work, give an example of IIC to illustrate it.

From the signal definition often see suce a name of IIC_SCL, IIC_SDA, naturally ask expert, what is this signal. The general answer will be like this "This is an IIC interface, is very simple, very slow, on two lines, a SCL is the clock, an SDA is the data, you directly connected to the line." If you think IIC is very simple, just two lines, can work directly connected, no longer do more understanding, then you are not suitable for engineers. Curiosity is the driving force behind the engineer's advancement. Know that this interface is IIC, we can find more on the web later. We can find the latest IIC interface protocol document, find a variety of reference designs, find a variety of application documents. 

Through the study of protocol documents, we can have a deeper understanding of the IIC interface. IIC is a bus interface, divided into master and slave, and is not limited to one-to-one master-slave connection mode, but also one-to-many or many-to-many connection. A pair of buses can connect multiple slaves, or multiple hosts. Each slave has its own unique slave address. The last bit of the address indicates a read or a write operation on the slave. IIC bus has a start condition and an end condition. After each send 8bit data will have a response signal, so the data line is bidirectional. IIC's two signal lines are open-drain output, which means that the external pull-up resistor. The choice of pull-up resistor needs to meet the rising edge of the IIC signal. If the level of the host from the machine is inconsistent, you need to do level conversion, there are several ways to achieve level conversion ... you can see, a seemingly simple interface, in fact, there are many places worth learning. These are experiences, more experience, naturally can become a expert.

Rookie engineers should have the quality:

1. Curiosity, curiosity, curiosity

2. Data retrieval capabilities

3. Learning ability

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