by Yikun Chang
According to my experience, writing is an effective way to help collect ideas, categorize them, and find logical relationships among them. Nowadays, Electronic Design Automation (EDA) tools are highly convenient. However, this fact is a double-edged sword. We become more and more dependent on simulation, and even overwhelmed by it. We sit in front of computers, set up all conditions, and then click “run.” After a while, we collect data and find something not that good. Then we adjust parameters slightly and re-run the simulation. This cycle repeats and repeats until we get lost in simulation and restart the whole flow. Fast simulation makes us little cherish the chances of running simulation, lazy to write down the simulation results, and barely spend time on carefully thinking about our design. Due to this kind of sad experience, I have learned to keep notes about research no matter how meaningless an idea or the data looks. Every time I feel lost in research, I look back at my notebook to re-organize my thoughts with some symbols like arrows or brackets. In this way, writing as well as thinking at the same time helps me figure out where the current problem comes from, and what I should focus on next. The record of the data that you previously think not important may help save a lot of time when you someday find it actually means something or need to compare it with new data.