Member since: 2004

Roger Arnold is a systems architect and engineer, recently focusing on energy systems and controls. His consulting company, Silverthorn Engineering, is developing architectures and software for motion control using custom switched-reluctance actuators and motor-generators.

Mr. Arnold graduated from the Honors College at Michigan State University with a triple major in physics, math, and chemistry. He then worked for IBM’s Components Division in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. His budding career at IBM, however, was interrupted by the draft.

The Army at that time had no slots in which to fit a drafted semiconductor physicist, however junior. However, it was assumed that a college graduate working for IBM must be an expert on business and data processing. On that basis, he was assigned as a systems analyst for a U.S. Forces Support District in Germany. As a lowly PFC, he found himself writing operating procedures and overseeing a pool of higher ranking military programmers and operators. He acquired a reputation for tactful troubleshooting. After two accelerated promotions, he spent much of his second year on temporary duty assignments to other locations in Germany.

It was, altogether, about as painless as military service in the final year of the Viet Nam war could get. Nonetheless, rubbing shoulders with men badly scarred by what they had seen and done in combat left an impression that informs his politics to this day.

Upon release from the Army, he enrolled at the University of Colorado Graduate School to study computer science and work as a research assistant in computer architectures. After graduate school, he worked seven years for Boeing Aerospace as a Software Engineer. His assignments ranged from IR&D on serial data communication protocols to embedded operating systems and software tools development. He worked with designers from IBM Federal Systems to optimize microcode of the IBM 4-Pi CC2 computer developed for the NATO E3A (AWACS) project. As a junior member of the proposal team for the sale of NATO AWACS planes to Iran, he narrowly missed being in Iran when the Shah was overthrown.

Mr. Arnold left Boeing in 1982 to join a startup company in San Diego. The company developed compilers and runtime software for the Ada programming language. He designed an advanced global optimizer for the compiler and served as manager of code generator development for RISC architectures. When the company was acquired by a competitor, he left and took a position as manager of compiler development for a company in the Silicon Valley area.

Since moving to Silicon Valley, he has worked for a number of different companies, in positions that leverage his unusual breadth of knowledge in software, hardware, and device physics. He was a principal architect and co-designer of the TriCore microprocessor / DSP used by Infineon Technologies in its line of controller products for the automotive market. He holds a number of patents on key architecture features of TriCore, including its variable length pipeline for masking memory fetch latencies.

Mr. Arnold currently resides in Sunnyvale, California, along with his wife, teenage son, and two cats. He can be reached at (408) 802-3060, or e-mail to