EE Times Weekend Speaks with Perceive CEO Steve Teig

By David McIntyre 2020-06-01

Recently EE Times Weekend, the newsletter from the venerable publication, spoke with our CEO, Steve Teig. The interview is available to newsletter subscribers — it’s free, and we encourage you to check it out

Perceive is far from Steve’s first startup: he’s a serial entrepreneur and brings decades of experience in machine learning, software and semiconductors. Before leading Perceive and acting as CTO Xperi, Steve was CTO of Tessera, where he initiated the expansion of the company’s products beyond imaging to include audio. He was also the founder of Tabula, a fabless semiconductor company developing ultra-high-performance programmable logic chips, co-CTO at Cadence Design Systems and CTO at Simplex Solutions. Steve also has a long and successful track record as the top technologists within biotechnology companies. He’s an inventor on 332 U.S. patents across multiple disciplines and a winner of the Edison Award and World Technology Award.

Steve’s range of interests and ongoing desire to help guide others in their careers were both in evidence in the EE Times interview. The following is excerpted from the May 23, 2020 edition of EE Times Weekend.

What personal projects will you be working on this weekend?

I am almost always trying to invent new, mathematically principled methods in machine learning – most of the time I am awake. For me, using computers to investigate this world – and to generate new ones – is the most interesting thing there is.

What was your first job in the industry?

I worked at Trilogy, Gene Amdahl’s wafer-scale integration-based computer company, where I led the logic simulation team and developed the world’s first compiled-code logic simulator.

Who was your mentor?

My father taught me to learn from every person I encounter, and I try hard to do that. My strongest intellectual influence is probably Claude Shannon, but professionally, my most influential mentor is Aki Fujimura, who is a visionary executive and technologist, a strong leader, and an extraordinary person.

What advice would you give to aspiring tech entrepreneurs?

Don’t be afraid; there is no more enjoyable work experience than being at a startup that is trying to change the world. The intensity, collegiality, and focus plus the opportunity to fashion the corporate culture are all deeply satisfying.

Any tips for engineers during lockdown?

Remember how lucky you are, and be happy about that! We can still invent, study, videoconference, and, likely, get paid for our work despite the lockdown.

Steve will be speaking briefly on June 11 at Stacey on IoT’s free virtual event, “How to make machine learning at the edge work,” and in September will have multiple talks at the Embedded Vision Summit. We invite you to join his sessions to learn more about his vision for Perceive vision and for rethinking machine learning at the edge.