The December 2022 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

Close bar

A group of electrical engineers from Toronto, Canada, felt left out of the whole online collaboration boom. After all, folks could edit text, spreadsheets, and presentations on Google Docs and code together with GitHub. But online collaboration wasn’t really available to hardware designers.

The three, Zak Homuth, Michael Woodworth, and Steven Hamer, started the company Upverter to create what they say are the first cloud-based EE tools, working for the past year, in Homuth's parents basement and then for six months at startup incubator Y Combinator in Silicon Valley. They built tools for drawing schematics in HTML5, and launched a crowd-sourced library of parts and design tools. They tested the service with 500 Alpha users, then, at DemoFall 2011 held this week in Santa Clara, Calif., they opened Upverter to the public, reporting excitedly that 1000 new users signed on in the first day. Homuth explains Upverter in the video above. Says Homuth “If it plugs in or turns on it can be designed faster in Upverter.” More from Homuth in the video above.

Follow me on Twitter @TeklaPerry.

The Conversation (0)

The Transistor at 75

The past, present, and future of the modern world’s most important invention

2 min read
A photo of a birthday cake with 75 written on it.
Lisa Sheehan
LightGreen

Seventy-five years is a long time. It’s so long that most of us don’t remember a time before the transistor, and long enough for many engineers to have devoted entire careers to its use and development. In honor of this most important of technological achievements, this issue’s package of articles explores the transistor’s historical journey and potential future.

Keep Reading ↓Show less