Dylan Lang, Standards Development Manager, Samtec Inc.
I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA. I first became interested in electronics in my high-school physics classes and in working with my dad on restoring vintage audio gear. These motivated me to choose a career based around the subject. After getting my Associate’s in Electrical Engineering Technology, I lived in Brooklyn, NY for three years doing some volunteer work. Upon moving back to Pittsburgh, I joined Samtec and have been here ever since.
Work With VITA
1. Explain some of the work you’re doing with VITA & the upcoming FMC+ standard?
Recently, I have been participating in several VITA marketing efforts as well as putting embedded systems in front of our customers. In addition, I serve as Editor on several working groups (VITA 57 and VITA 74) and am Chairman of the VNX (VITA 74) Marketing Alliance.
2. The VITA 57.1 FMC specification defines two connectors: High Pin Count (HPC) and Low Pin Count (LPC). What purpose does each serve in a FMC-based system?
The (LPC) connectors provide 68 user-defined, single-ended signals (or 34 user-defined, differential pairs); (HPC) connectors provide 160 user-defined, single-ended signals (or 80 user-defined, differential pairs), 10 serial transceiver pairs and additional clock.
These prove to be extremely useful when developing on FPGA-based platforms. Both the LPC and HPC connectors allow for flexibility by providing user-defined pins while maintaining high data rates.
1. Did you always want to be an engineer? If so, why? If not, how’d you wind up here?
Originally, I wanted to be a Calculus teacher. I loved the way mathematics just made sense and the process of logical thinking. However, I wanted to balance that with my love for electronics, so engineering seemed like a happy medium.
2. What has surprised you the most about the work you do with embedded computing? (or engineering in general)
I would say the impact of embedded computing on almost everything around us proved to be a wake-up call for me. From your smart phone to space, embedded computing is everywhere.
3. What is one of the biggest issues currently facing engineers?
One of the biggest challenges in the embedded realm is designing a solution to please everyone. With Standards families like VITA, there are so many companies and interested parties that can participate, it can be a challenge to think from so many different angles at once.
4. What advice would you give to someone looking into this field of engineering?
I would say go for it! While it can be technically intense and at times seem overwhelming, the results are well worth it in knowing how far-reaching the effects of your efforts are. So many companies like Facebook, Apple, Intel, and Google thrive on the latest in embedded technologies, so it’s great to be a part of that.
Off the cuff: What’s the most recent show you’ve binge watched?
Not necessarily binge watching, but have been following the NHL playoffs very closely.