Cypress’ Maker of the Month: Krishnaswamy Ramkumar

Posted on December 29, 2016 by Samer Bahou

The Maker of the Month series recognizes unique projects created by the maker community. At Cypress, we are committed to helping our customers (international OEMs and makers alike) bring their innovations to life with our easy-to-use software tools and programmable solutions. For more information about Cypress’ maker community involvement, check out the rest of our Maker of the Month series and our efforts to empower up-and-coming engineers via the Cypress University Alliance (CUA).


Read the Q&A with Cypress’ Maker of the Month for December 2016, Krishnaswamy Ramkumar. He is a senior technical staff member and veteran on the Cypress Semiconductor team who has been instrumental in our ongoing efforts to be on the cutting edge of technology. Recently, he made the huge achievement of receiving his 110th patent and was selected as a finalist for DesignCon 2017’s Engineer of the Year award. We cannot think of anyone more deserving of this accolade and if you feel the same, we encourage you to vote Ramkumar for Engineer of the Year ahead of the Jan. 9, 2017 deadline.

Please provide some background about yourself.

After receiving my Master’s of Technology in Electronics and Ph.D. in Electronic and Electronics Engineering from the Indian Institute of Science, I taught semiconductor courses at my alma mater and later at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y. From there, I joined the Cypress Semiconductor team. I have held technical engineer and inventor titles here for over 20 years, working mostly on complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) and embedded nonvolatile memory (eNVM) technologies.

Can you tell us about your role at the Cypress?

My work days typically revolve around semiconductor process technology, including front-end process development, process integration, process transfer and manufacturing, as well as interacting with foundries for process development and transfer. In addition to my day-to-day role, I serve as the semiconductor process representative on the patent committee at Cypress.

What can you share about the projects you are currently working on?

My team and I have been working diligently on the development of Silicon-Oxide-Nitride-Oxide-Silicon (SONOS) technology. The demand for embedded flash memory has grown steeply alongside the changes in consumer electronics (i.e., touchscreens, smart cards, mobile payments, etc.) and industrial system-on-chip (SoC) designs. SONOS simplifies the approach to embedded flash memory at a significantly lower cost, which helps address the increased requirements on memory content and system performance.

How do you help your colleagues and fellow engineers succeed?

I may be biased, but I believe we have an incredible team at Cypress. Being able to mentor promising junior team members, whether it is helping them along the design process or pushing them to get their inventions patented, puts the cherry on top of being able to work on projects that I am sincerely passionate about.

While I no longer teach full-time, I still instruct a number of evening courses to engineers that are already working within the semiconductor industry. Like many other industries, those in semiconductor engineering need to constantly be learning new processes and technologies to stay ahead.

Are you involved in any industry organizations?

I am proud to be a part of the committee of industry experts from the U.S., Europe, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan developing content for the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS). ITRS is a set of documents that outlines the roadmap for semiconductor technology and how it is predicted to advance over the course of a five year period.

For more information about Ramkumar or his work at Cypress, you can reach out to him on the following platforms:

Thank you and congratulations again to Krishnaswamy Ramkumar for participating in our Maker of the Month program and for his nomination for DesignCon’s Engineer of the Year award. If you would like to vote for Ramkumar, you can do so on the DesignNews website. Voting closes Jan. 9, 2017 at 8:45 p.m. PST.

Additionally, if you would like to be considered for our next Maker of the Month profile, please email us and share a brief description of what project(s) you have made using Cypress’ technology.

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