Jack Kang, Vice President of Product and Business Development at SiFiveNovember 16, 2017

Awards Season Brings Big Surprises

It’s that time of year again--awards season, the time when companies submit their best-of-year products and initiatives for consideration by industry watchers and judging panels. It’s a familiar, fairly predictable cycle, but sometimes it can take one by surprise.

When UBM announced the finalists for the Annual Creativity in Engineering (ACE) awards earlier this month everyone at SiFive was proud to see that the team behind our HiFive1 development board was shortlisted as a finalist for “Design Team of the Year.” It’s great industry recognition for a very talented and hardworking team, and one that I believe our team deserves! After all, the HiFive1 encompasses the world’s first commercial RISC-V chip and has jump started RISC-V development in over 40 countries.

I was taken aback, however, to learn that my name had been put forward for consideration as "Executive of the Year" by the ACE judging committee, not us. To be clear, I’m honored and flattered by the nomination, even though it isn’t something I would have ever sought out myself. It’s rewarding to have recognition of all the effort it has taken to help push the SiFive mission forward over the past two plus years. Our success has truly been a team effort, and I feel incredibly fortunate that my career path has aligned me with such a visionary team of brilliant engineers here at SiFive. This nomination is undoubtedly a reflection of the entire team.

In just over 18 months here at SiFive, I’ve had the opportunity to participate in the birth of an entirely new class of technology and evangelize a new business model that has already begun to alter the course of the semiconductor industry. This journey has incorporated meetings and partnerships with some of the industry’s biggest names, late nights with the executive and engineering teams hammering out strategies and ground-breaking ideas, and a promise to not be bound by any conventional ways of thinking. What we here call the "Semiconductor Revolution" has taken me around the world, and I’m continually amazed by the grassroots excitement behind RISC-V, SiFive and open source hardware.

I’ve been fortunate throughout my career to have had the opportunity to drive many rewarding projects that have had significant impact on the industry. Some of the highlights include working on record-shattering products, such as the Nintendo Switch, the Sony PlayStation 4 and the Microsoft Xbox Kinect. My teams at Marvell and NVIDIA were smack in the middle of the rise of embedded computing, then the shift to mobile computing and Android, then to cloud computing, and now all the way back to the purest form of embedded computing — a future of embedded IoT devices everywhere.

It’s truly an honor just to be nominated among other industry leaders. I look forward to seeing them and many of you at the ACE Awards ceremony on Dec. 6 at the San Jose Convention Center. Stay tuned!