This learning journey clarified some of my misconceptions and enriched my knowledge on communications technology, and told me more about how Intel works.

Before the journey, I thought that the communication technology (EDGE, 3G,HSPA, LTE) involved in a smartphone, shortens the battery life of the smartphone as the communications technology improves in speed. Mr. Kwok Lih clarified that the reason for the shortened battery life is generally due to a larger screen size, leading to a larger backlight, which consumes more power, regardless of the communication technology, as the communication chip consumes minimal power.

Previously, I also thought that communications technology is all about transmitting and receiving radio frequency, to receive and send out data packets. However, this trip opened my eyes to what the development of the chips really is. It is much more complicated than I would have thought. The development involves testing of the quality of voice sent and the received voice, power usage, heat management, ruggedness of the chip and much more. This taught me to appreciate the phone which I have and realised how fortunate I am to be enjoying the fruits of the engineers' 'labor'.

Mr. Kwok Lih also shared about how Intel came about and gave us a short brief on the microprocessor business of Intel. Intel, actually meant INT(egrated) EL(ectronics), this was something which I never knew, before, I thought Intel is actually a shortened word of intelligence. Mr. Kwok Lih also shared about the Tick-Tock development process of microprocessor at Intel, what a control system is, and the difference between ARM and the x86. The Tick-Tock model allowed more predictable pipeline of future Intel microprocessors, and allowed an organised development of the chips. Control system is similar to an automated system, such as the flushing system of a toilet bowl. Control system allows people, such as pilots, to spend time on more prominent and ever-changing situations with the genius and flexibility of a human mind, and let predictable processes to be done on its own and to stop when it has to (automated).



We started the journey with a lecture, followed by lab sessions, and a CIP project to help a children's home. The lecture covered the theory of microprocessors, communication technology and how is Intel contributing to technology. Lab sessions gave us some time with engineers and experience first-hand how engineers develop and test chips. The CIP project is to refurbish laptops for a children's home.

The lecture was given by Mr. Kwok Lih. He was able to give the lecture interestingly and it was engaging and a pleasant experience to be able to be there to listen to his lecture. He adds a sense of humor to the usually boring theory behind how technology works (such as how a phone is able to receive voice from another phone and how it sends voice to the other phone).

The lab sessions allowed us to experience how sound quality was tested and the development of chips. The engineers were able to replace technology jargons with simple conversational english, allowing me to understand what was going on. The 'box' which is used to test sound quality is worth a million dollars, and weigh a ton.(Wow) There is no echo and no radio frequency in the box to ensure the most accurate result is achieved from the testings. I was told that phone manufacturers has such equipments as well, but the size is much bigger, and is the size of a room. It is also very uncomfortable to be in the box, as the human mind is used to some noise and when it is completely silent, we will not feel at ease. I was then told that people who are exposed to this for a long time will usually listen to music, so as to reduce the uneasiness. The development of the chips involves multiple testing. The testing include power consumption test, heat test, ruggedness test and reliability test.

The CIP project is a simple task of slotting in a new hard disk, configuring the BIOS, and cleaning up the laptop. Though simple, it shows the compassion of the people involved. With technology developing at a fast pace, it is essential for everyone to be able to leverage on technology to remain competitive and up-to-date, thus we are doing something meaningful by giving the children at the children's home a chance to learn how to use a computer. After this CIP project, I realised how fortunate I am and will treasure what I have.

This journey is an eye-opening experience for me and I hope to attend such learning journey again.