"Brilliant engineering types"

Brad Fluke was the fifth employee of Silicon Laboratories when he was hired as vice president of marketing in May 1997. Today, the Austin, Texas, semiconductor manufacturer is a publicly held company with 250 employees in three divisions and annual sales of more than $100 million.

The company was founded in 1996 by three "brilliant engineering types" who left another semiconductor company. Silicon's first product was the DAA silicon (direct access arrangement), a computer chip-set that could replace a computer modem sub-assembly, traditionally made up of numerous discrete components. Since that first product, Silicon Labs has introduced a number of innovative semiconductor products that serve wireline, wireless, and optical networking applications.

"The success of the company and its products has been very exciting," says Fluke, an RIT electrical engineering grad who is vice president and general manager of the company's wireline products division, in charge of more than 50 people.

Interestingly, of the company's nine-member executive staff, three are RIT electrical engineering alumni: Gary Gay '73, VP of sales; Jim Templeton '86, head of the optical networking division; and Fluke.

"The electrical engineering program at RIT is very demanding," comments Fluke. "I know I found it very tough. Certainly, RIT gave me a solid technical foundation, and more than anything, taught me to work hard and not give up on my goals."

For more information, see www.silabs.com.

The University Magazine, Spring 2001