Podcast: #280 - Cristiano Amon: Qualcomm CEO | Lex Fridman Podcast


  • some insight into 5G cellular technology and what it will mean for pervasive connectivity
  • mmWave technology is more like WiFi – requires a lot of access points
  • RF power is generally lower in 5G as you don’t have to transfer as far
  • thoughts on the chip shortage: mainly caused by the acceleration of digital transformation of pretty much everything in every industry. The pandemic aggravated this, but did not cause it.
  • Qualcomm culture
    • collaboration is key to bring so many disciplines together (CPU, GPU, AI processor, Cellular, WiFi, Bluetooth, low power, etc)
    • disciple of design with quality – they are often ramping up production when they get first SI back on a new chip.

Design with quality – that sounds similar to something we discussed recently – that quality and tests need to be built in during development. In hardware design, I’ve found it takes a lot less time to do it right the first time than debug problems after you get hardware. Power supply, signal integrity, noise, race-conditions, BOM mistakes – problems in these areas are often difficult to find/fix after the fact – design quality in from the start. Iterations should be focused on features, packaging, innovation – not fixing problems from violating basic design principles.