Prof Stan Skafidas
Professor Skafidas is the Managing Director of AMD Australia. He received a PhD from the University of Melbourne in 1997. Before joining NICTA in 2004, he was Chief Technology Officer at Bandspeed (1998–2004), a company he cofounded, based in Austin, Texas, which designed and manufactured semiconductor chipsets for wireless systems and products. At Bandspeed, Professor Skafidas co-invented Adaptive Frequency Hopping – a coexistence technology that allows Bluetooth devices to sense and avoid radio interference. This technology transformed Bluetooth into the robust and easy to use radio communication medium that it is today. AFH has been incorporated in every Bluetooth product since ver 1.2. In 2014 alone, there were over 3 billion devices sold incorporating this technology. The Bandspeed company was acquired by multinational semiconductor provider Broadcom Inc.
In 2008, a team led by Professor Skafidas developed the world’s first completely integrated 60GHz transceiver on CMOS. This single chip wireless system was able to deliver 5Gbps data rate at cost of approximately $1 whilst being only 5mm x 5mm in size. Professor Skafidas co-founded Nitero, the spin out company formed to commercialise 60GHz technology. Nitero received investment from leading venture funds such as Southern Cross Ventures and US based Austin Ventures. The technology and products based on this technology have been the recipient of multiple industry awards including the 2015 CES Innovation award. The CES Innovation Awards is the premier international annual competition honoring outstanding design and engineering in consumer technology products. Today, this technology, that has both high throughput and low latency, is being used to produce chipsets for wireless virtual reality systems. In March 2017 the Nitero company was acquired by technology multinational Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and has led to the establishment of AMD’s global wireless research and development centre in Australia.
Presentation: The many potential ways to impact
As a young starry eyed graduate student, some of your first meetings involve your research supervisor describing the great importance of your chosen area of work, all the great things that will flow from it and how your expected work outputs will revolutionise your chosen field of research and, just maybe, even change the world.
You are told the path to impact is simple – you will strive to publish your results in the top journals in your field. The journal “nature” has an impact factor of 40+ you are told.
Uncertain of what the term impact factor exactly means, other than the fact that 40 is greater than 4, the impact factor of the latest journal paper that the senior post doc in your lab has just published, you are Excited by the prospects of the impact you are going to have. You are eager to race to the lab to begin your journey – your mission is clear.
However, Is the path to impact for your research as clear cut as you have been led to believe? Are there other potential avenues to impact you could also be considering and working on simultaneously?