Meet two engineers in Gdansk pushing possible forward to make the internet more accessible for everyone.
We chatted with Marta Chmiel and Szymon Dolecki, two SoC design engineers working at Intel Gdansk in the Programmable Solutions Group (PSG). This international team is made up of about 100 RTL engineers, of which fewer than 20 are based in Gdansk. Together, they are working on networking technology that will help bring 5G internet to hard-to-reach places around the world.
What does your group do and what are some of the projects you are working on now?
Szymon: Our main focus is working on the baseline designs for FPGAs (Field-Programmable Gate Array chips). This is a type of hardware that allows configuration in the field. You don’t need to design an ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Chip) that you’ll need to redesign or change—instead, with the FPGA you can change the hardware once it’s already deployed in the field. Selling those chips is the main business of PSG.
Marta: Here in Gdansk, we are mostly focusing on networking solutions—PAC cards that will allow for networking function virtualization, which will allow for 5G enablement as well as use in big data centers.
What is the purpose and impact of these products, solutions, and technologies?
Szymon: Imagine that you want internet, but you’re in the middle of nowhere. In terms of a typical user, this technology will make possible the 5G enablement that’s taking place all around the world. It’s being used in data centers, ASIC prototyping, aeronautics, and even military usage in telecommunications.
Marta: Once we have 5G, we can have the Internet of Things. This means a message on your phone will tell you that your fridge is empty. And you’ll be able to browse the internet faster. We are working on many of the latest technologies, not only driving the 5G Internet of Things. This technology touches so much.
What excites you and motivates you to come to work?
Marta: For me personally, the feeling that what I do is making a difference to the bigger picture. If I’m walking around the city and I see a billboard saying that some network provider is 5G ready, I’m thinking they might be 5G ready because of some part of my work, and that’s quite exciting. Also, the challenges that come my way—the new tasks, using fresh knowledge that I acquire every day. The constant growth excites me.
Szymon: For me, it’s the technology. I’ve been working with FPGA for six or seven years, and I’ve wanted to work with FPGAs ever since I got a pacemaker implanted around ten years ago. Back then, they were using actual FPGAs in pacemakers. I am excited to work with the best FPGA team because what we are working on will directly influence the high-end specs, the things that are creating and changing the future.
What makes Intel Gdansk A Great Place to Work?
Szymon: What I appreciate most is the flexibility. We are an international team, mostly based in China and the United States. Sometimes we need to meet very early, sometimes very late, so it’s good that we can come to work or leave anytime we want. This flexibility is one of the best things here.
Marta: The Intel campus in Gdansk is really big, I think it’s over 2,000 people. There are many different projects happening here, a lot of different people, so you can learn from them and gain new perspectives. In terms of technology, we have many interesting trainings going on here. Also, the fact that it’s close to the sea and you can go to the beach after work, that’s nice too.
What makes for the ideal PSG candidate?
Szymon: I would say there are two things you need. One is a very open mind because thinking inside the box won’t allow you to produce what we need. The second thing is patience. You need to work with a lot of different people, and there are huge decisions being made.
Marta: You have to be driven and motivated to constantly learn and be open minded and interested in what you do. Because, if you’re getting bored, then what’s the point? You also need at least some experience in RTL coding, and some FPGA experience is also very welcome. If you have general experience working as a hardware engineer or hardware developer, and an open-mind, then you’ll be very valuable to us here.
Interested in opportunities at Intel Poland? Check out available openings here: https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/jobs/locations/poland.html