IPC Hall of Shame

The Consumer Electronics Association this week inducted a dozen persons into its Hall of Fame. That brings the total to 121 inventors, engineers and others that organization has inducted since 2000.

Which is great. The Hall is supposed to be the pinnacle of achievement for a select group of dedicated individuals.And the folks who were recently recognized certainly include some big names, like the founder of DirecTV, the lead developer of the Sony PlayStation, and the CEO of Sirius.

But it’s also a shame. You see, the IPC Hall of Fame has inducted 24. In 31 years. Now that’s a Hall worth belonging to. And there’s no getting in on anything so simple as merit. It doesn’t matter if you’ve worked for a big company, or heck, even invented the circuit board or the semiconductor. In fact, the IPC Hall has as many inductees from among its own employees as it does from IBM and — (take your pick) Texas Instruments or DuPont or AT&T — combined. You worked at Intel? Take a seat. Hughes or Boeing or Raytheon? Fugghedaboudit. Outside of the US? Don’t make us laugh!

Clearly, the CEA is engaged in hyperinflation, and we shouldn’t stand for it, not one minute more. The consumer electronics market is supposed to exceed $173 billion this year, CEA touts in its announcement. Silly people. Don’t they know consumer electronics make up only 5% or so of the total electronics market. What an inflated view of the world they must have!

IPC, on the other hand, represents not just consumer electronics manufacturers, but the segments of military/defense, aerospace, automotive, industrial, instrumentation, computers, and telecom, to name a few. In our world, we don’t measure things with a “b,” but with a “t.” As in $1.2 trillion. (Give or take a few “b’s.”)

Speaking of inflation, I can’t wait to see how many folks the Society for Automotive Engineers inducts into its Hall this year. So many, probably, they’ll need to ask Congress for a loan to cover the reception.

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About Mike

Mike Buetow is president of the Printed Circuit Engineering Association (pcea.net). He previously was editor-in-chief of Circuits Assembly magazine, the leading publication for electronics manufacturing, and PCD&F, the leading publication for printed circuit design and fabrication. He spent 21 years as vice president and editorial director of UP Media Group, for which he oversaw all editorial and production aspects. He has more than 30 years' experience in the electronics industry, including six years at IPC, an electronics trade association, at which he was a technical projects manager and communications director. He has also held editorial positions at SMT Magazine, community newspapers and in book publishing. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois. Follow Mike on Twitter: @mikebuetow