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Pre-Silicon Verification at Intel: Solving New Challenges in a Flexible, Supportive Work Culture

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Meet Intel’s SoC Engineers in this blog series highlighting the talented team creating and testing the technology at the core of our products.

When Sam Mattord graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2012, he wanted two things—exciting work and stability. He found both when he joined Intel as an engineer focused on Pre-Silicon Verification in the System-on-Chip Enabling Group (SEG).

It’s his job to find and fix flaws in products before they’re released to market, with the final goal of people around the world having great experiences with Intel technology. “The role of validation is to ensure that the product works. A broader look is that verification has an impact on which direction the designs go.”

Another thing Sam loves about his job? There’s always more to learn—and the flexibility to experience more aspects of a project and gain new skills. “My role varies based on what phase of the project we are in, and we normally have several projects stacked on top of each other at different phases. These include interfacing with architecture, interfacing with design, writing tests, debugging tests, debugging failures, test planning, analyzing new patches, documentation consumption, and more. There is always plenty to do in any one of these, which allows for you to move to different areas. The variability is great.”

While exhilarating, solving new and increasingly complex problems can be challenging, says Sam. “Very rarely am I working on something that has been done before. A lot of times, there are no examples to look towards that will pave the road for you. You lean on people that are smarter than you all the time. That is another benefit of working at Intel. Some of the people in my office in the design, architecture, and validation team are world class. They are generous with their time, clear in their descriptions, and just amazing. And that is something that can really off-set the difficulty of the work.”

All that hard work requires the opportunity to recharge. And Sam plans to take full advantage of Intel’s leave benefits to do just that. “My favorite thing to do is travel. I have my sabbatical coming up, and I am planning to fly to Santiago, Chile and get a motorcycle, take my camping gear, and pick a direction. I would like to visit Chile, Argentina, and Brazil. I did a similar trip in New Zealand and really like the freedom.”


Interested in a bold, fearless career like Sam’s? See our current open positions.
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