Leo, from Naples, has worked with the Implementations team for two years at Blu Wireless. With over 20 years’ experience in the field, he has become crucial to our microchip testability process. We recently spoke to him about his role in the team and his journey so far.
Describe a typical day in your role: What are your core responsibilities?
Leo: My core responsibilities as a Principal DFT (Design for Test) Engineer are to make sure that our microchipped devices are defect free. To do that, we need to create design infrastructures, and design part of the hardware that goes inside the microchip. This means that the microchip is testable when it comes out of the factory and that a fully working product can be shipped to customers.
What is it about your role that you enjoy the most?
Leo: The beginning of a project, where I need to gather all the design information and build up a test architecture specification to guarantee easy and high-quality testability, is what I enjoy most.
But I also like the backend of my job, which is when the silicon is out, and we need to generate the tests to cover all the possible manufacturing defects. This is done at tester sites where tests I’ve generated are deployed directly onto the silicon, helping the Product Engineering team build a manufacturing test program.
What has been your favourite project to work on at Blu Wireless and what was your role within that?
Leo: My favourite project so far has been building up a fully configurable and reusable DFT design flow. The flow will analyse all the data we need and automatically pinpoint where design faults are. I was given full freedom in that project and I’m proud of the result in light of the testability targets reached by Lerna, the first SoC (System on Chip) that used this flow.
How did you start out your career? What made you decide to join Blu Wireless?
Leo: I completed my Electronics Engineering master’s in 2000 with a specialisation in Robotics in Naples. After that, I was offered a job in STMicroelectronics Catania IT as Junior Silicon Designer, but after only a week there, I was sent to Bristol for two years of training. A few years later I moved back to Naples – still for STMicroelectronics but in the Automotive Silicon Design team – where I covered the role of Senior DFT Engineer, taking the testability leadership of several car engine and infotainment SoCs. Then I decided to come back to Bristol as part of STM’s set top box division and met many of Blu Wireless’s current team.
In 2017, I finally arrived here as a Senior Silicon Designer and have since been promoted to Principal Engineer. When I first got the call asking to join, I didn’t have to think twice. I was already aware of the cutting-edge technology they were working on and believed in the people creating it.
If you had to describe Blu Wireless in three words, what would these be?
Leo: Innovative, smart, harmonious
What do you like about working with the rest of the Blu Wireless team?
Leo: The harmony we have between colleagues is the biggest asset we have in the company, in my opinion. I wouldn’t change my team for anything.
What perks do employees at Blu Wireless benefit from?
Leo: I have the flexibility to work from home, which is ideal because I live quite far away and I find that I’m really productive there.
What would you say to anyone who was considering applying to Blu Wireless?
Leo: The best part of Blu Wireless has to be the people, who are smart, friendly and very knowledgeable in their own fields. We have a perfect blend of youth and experience.