My Life as a Chip Design Engineer at Intel

Hi! My name is John (Jianxun) and I am a Circuit Design Engineer with Intel’s Server Processor Group. I am currently working on the design of a future generation microprocessor targeting the high-end server market. The last project I worked on was called Tukwila. It is the first processor in the industry that has over two billion transistors! Today, I’d like to share my story about how I came to Intel and what it’s like to be a chip design engineer, as well as a little about myself outside of work. Maybe my story could inspire you to join Intel and be a part of shaping the future!

How did I come to Intel?

After I graduated from college in China, I worked as an electrical engineer at a major Chinese consumer electronics company for a few years. While doing my work there, I realized semiconductor chips used in the electronic devices I was working on are the major force that drives technology forward. So I said to myself, “It would be nice if I could design microprocessors at Intel.” To do so, I made the decision to come to the US and study semiconductor chip design at graduate school. After graduating, I worked for a company that Intel eventually acquired from Hewlett Packard…and here I am!

So, you might be wondering what it’s like to be a chip design engineer at Intel. Well, a microprocessor is probably the most complicated component to have ever been designed and manufactured. It takes a team of several hundred engineers to work together for several years to finish one design. Therefore, it requires a lot of team communication and collaboration to make a make a project successful, making people skills very important. The R&D nature of design work also means designers have to constantly learn and innovate. That makes everyday different and fun.

I usually get to work at about 8:40 a.m. and leave work slightly before 6 p.m. If I need to come late or leave early, I’ll work at home before or after to make up the time. There is no set time that we have to be at office unless there are meetings to attend. The key is to get the work done on your own time and flex your schedule accordingly.

On a personal front, I recently completed a part-time MBA program at Babson College and that should help to broaden my career horizon. Better yet, Intel helped with my tuition. Otherwise, I spend most of my time with my family. We have a five year old son and he is really cute! We go to Cape Cod to spend time on the beach almost every weekend in July and August. We all love swimming in the ocean. I get four weeks of vacation time a year and I spend over half of it in China to be with my extended family.

If this sounds interesting to you, please consider joining Intel or go to Life at Intel to hear more stories.

**Intel has a tuition assistance program that is determined on case-by-case basis. Visit our Jobs at Intel Web site to learn more about Intel’s different compensation and benefits packages and programs offered around the world.

6 thoughts on “My Life as a Chip Design Engineer at Intel

  1. I sure would like to work for Intel.
    I was with IBM for over 6 years as a software engineer and project manager. Many of my colleages indeed went to Intel, and are loving it.
    But I ended up moving to Richmond BC Canada instead, and am currently looking for an IT position, which may take several months.
    If I had my way, I would go for Intel here in Vancouver. Just a couple problems:
    1.- They are not hiring (or posting the openings at least), as usual when there is a crisis.
    2.- I don’t know anyone in there to approach the “the-person-who-can-hire-you” person, which is usually much more effective than just have your resume here floating until it is (good luck with that) matched to a position.
    Does anyone know anyone from Intel Vancouver? Already asked my former teammates in Intel Mexico, but no guarantee they know anybody here in Canada.
    Appreciate any advice.
    Alejandro Silva

  2. Hi Alejandro! Our presence in Vancouver is fairly small, but if you are interested in a position there, I encourage you to submit your candidate profile and resume online through and keep checking back to look for the latest job postings. Sorry I can’t be more of a help! Good luck!

  3. This is a very nice article written about the experience at Intel, John. It is quite true that the work in big R&D like Intel would require team work and coordination among the software engineers at work. I being one of the engineers experienced more or less the same. However, Intel comes under the top companies of the world. It is quite good to tell about your luck as being the microprocessor design engineer at Intel. But you would enjoy as long as you are learning new technology, or new enhancements in Intel. The moment we find the work to be routine we often dont find the work exciting.. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  4. My life in Intel Technology Philippines is very challenging and fun. I started from the bottom position 1980 and end my employment 2005 as Industrial Engineer when the management decided to shutdown the factory in the Philippines site..If the factory did not close i definitely still working in Intel. I am scholar of Intel and knowledge i gained from the training that i had before is very useful. My expertise are production, QC and IE. Every time i will look at Intel Shanghai news, i truly remember that I am a part of a team that went there for the start up of the new factory. Intel help me to have a good life and send my 3 boys in good university. Now I’m in Canada, I’ m hoping somebody in Intel will read my message because i want to be back in Intel Vancouver to work. Please! anybody can help. I already downloaded my resume in intel website..thanks a lot

Comments are closed.