Joining Silicon Labs Board of Directors

After a round-trip in the US in September to meet all the directors of the board at Silicon Labs I have now signed up for the task and participated at the first board meeting in Austin, Texas.

After more then 20 years in the semiconductor industry and nearly 18 years at Atmel building the AVR product line and serving as CMO for the last years it feels good to be able to use all my experience on new challenges. With the recent acquisition of Energy Micro this becomes even a better fit for both Silicon Labs and me. It is interesting to see how a big American company really values the semiconductor competence what we have built here in Norway. I will get back with another article about this soon.

To be a member of this BOD will also expand my network into other technology companies, investors and business angels. As CEO of Novelda this becomes very useful as we are building Novelda to be a real solutions-provider of smart-sensors for proximity and presence based on our proprietary Ultra-Wide-Band radar chips. To expand my network was also one of my goals when I went to work in California a few years back.

This was more an update from side. I will get back with some more valuable articles soon.

Thanks for reading

MakerFaire in Trondheim 2014

Finally we have established the organization Trondheim Makers to drive an innovation culture in Mid-Norway. This is a real teamwork in the region to inspire people to experiment and build new things.  We already have a lot of good initiatives in Trondheim for innovation and Trondheim Makers will try to involve all these to ensure we do not reinvent the wheel. The great thing about MakerFaire and the Make community is that it is very international and capture all ages of people that are curious. Please visit to get an idea about this.

We will need all companies, organizations, people, investors and others to help us with this. It is a non-profit initiative and the money we collect will be solely used for the purpose of driving this organization and to create activities in schools and other organizations to inspire the community we want to meet at MakerFaire in Trondheim 2014.

Picture Trondheim Makers

Trondheim Makers established Friday 13. September.

From Left representatives from: Kantega, Pstereo, Atmel, Olavsfestdagene, Powel, Trønderenergi, Tlab, Novelda, Røe Kommunication, Norwegian Creations, Hist, Statoil, Trondheim Kommune.

I am proud of the fact that Bård Benum from Powel and Randi Wenche Haugen (x Olavsfestdagene) wanted to join as board members. They are both very passionate about innovation and culture and really care about their city. We also have a few more people joining the board soon to ensure we have the right mix of people. This will be people with good connection to young entrepreneurs at schools and with good connection to the Make community in Trondheim.

Please visite our WEB site

Send us a mail from that site and help us get this rolling.

Please help us spread this word.



Trondheim Makers

RISC versus CISC

The old discussion about RISC versus CISC suddenly became on the agenda again after my article about AVR to ARM.

Anders from IAR systems and a few others have contacted me to say that to call ARM a CISC was not correct. There is no doubt about that, ARM is a RISC, not a CISC processor. Advanced Risc Machines develops RISC processors.

In my article I referred to the beginning of the ARM and the beginning of AVR. The first ARM device we used was one of the first ARM 7 based architectures. This architecture had a Von Neumann bus structure, which means that there is one shared bus for program code, data and I/O. Most processor architects would say that RISC processors should have a Harvard architecture where there are separate busses for the different memories. This was implemented in the ARM 9 and it almost doubled the performance of the core. There are also CISC processors utilizing the Harvard architecture so I guess the border between CISC and RISC will never be 100% clear. However, my previous article should have been written differently. My bad.

Many people think that RISC means reduced number of instructions. Reduced in the RISC term refers to the complexity of the instructions. A RISC processor has an instruction set where every instruction is executed mostly in one clock cycle and hereby becomes very efficient in terms of execution speed. However, this requires different hardware support because it can be viewed more like “parallel processing” versus a CISC that has complex instructions and some instructions have small state machines that use multiple. For example the multiply instruction take one clock cycle in AVR and 48 in the original C51 core.

When we designed the AVR we actually added a lot of instructions to avoid having every instruction too flexible. By adding more instruction we could keep them simple and very efficient. By working with IAR systems on the C-compiler we also ended up with a very code efficient machine.

For embedded processors used in control application it is also very important to have a processor that can handle single bits in registers, memory and I/O very efficient. It is interesting to note that the C51 designed by Intel in 1980 had bit level “boolean logic” operations. These operations can be used on internal registers and a dedicated portion of the RAM memory. A similar functionality was also implemented in the AVR to make it extremely efficient for control applications. The original AVR architecture before it became Atmel was designed to do very efficient descrambling of bit streams sent to digital TV sets.

The next level of efficiency for embedded application is what the I/O Communicates without the CPU involved. This was implemented in the XMEGA AVR and an even more efficient system is implemented in the EFM32 from Energy Micro. The EFM32 has a so-called Reflex system where peripherals can be programmed to wake up each other and pass data along as needed. This is mostly implemented to utilize the low power modes of the EFM32, and will also improve the performance of the system.