Internship: Solarflare Communications

Since the beginning of August, I have been interning with Solarflare Communications in Cambridge.

My main project during my internship is to design a device to test the power supplies of Solarflare Network Interface Cards (NICs). The devices interface with the NICs via the SFP or QSFP ports (different PCBs for each). The control was via the I2C bus, as controlled by the XJTAG test software.

Each device features an EEPROM to store the device serial number and use cycle counter. An I2C I/O Expander then controls MOSFET switches which switch 1W loads onto the power supply rails. An ADC then measures the supply voltage both with and without the load present.

I will be finishing next Friday (28/09/2018) due to the start of term at university. I will miss working here – I’ve never been so sure that I am pursuing the correct career path for me as now. It’s almost a shame I can’t stay on instead of returning to university life.

In my time here, I have learnt much about PCB layout and design practice, as well as how to do SMD soldering.

The thought that people will willingly employ me to design and produce circuit boards gives me great pleasure. As they say: get a job you like and you will never have to work again.


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