Being the first with the best

4 September 2019

‘Aggressive’ is one of those words that typically has negative connotations. Being aggressive, in everyday speech, means being argumentative, looking for a fight. Typically, we don’t like aggressive people. We especially don’t like aggressive salespeople. No, they’re not looking to punch you – but their tactics are designed to scare you, to bully you.

Ever bought a car? Dealerships are home to some of the most aggressive salespeople I’ve ever met. (Your mileage may vary, of course.)  You know (or have perhaps heard) how it goes: if you don’t buy that car now, it will be gone forever and so will the opportunity to be the envy of your friends.  You ‘ll be left with the car lot’s left-overs, and be disappointed for the life of whatever you do buy. 

It’s true that the first definition of ‘aggressive’ in the Cambridge dictionary is “behaving in an angry and violent way towards another person”. But: there’s a second:  “determined to win or succeed and using forceful action to win or to achieve success”. And that’s how I like to think of Abaco’s approach.

Making a difference to our customers

A product manager for our DSP portfolio, I’m aggressive – because I want to win. Winning means identifying and implementing the technologies that will make a real difference to our customers – and making that real difference in the shortest possible time.  Every day, I find myself aggressively pushing the boundaries of what technologies can do – and trying to do that in products that are as low in size, weight and power consumption as possible. That means putting more FPGA resources, more bandwidth and more thermal capacity into the smallest possible enclosures.

I’m being aggressive because we talk to customers about their needs all the time, and they want me – they want Abaco – to be aggressive. Take our VPX portfolio, for example. We’re looking ahead to the next generations of technology - whether it’s Xilinx’s 3rdgeneration RFSoC or Versal ACAP processors.  While we’re still defining what the product will look like in the future, we’re actively weighing trades and listening to what our customers are saying. 

It was this same aggressive approach to being the first with the best that saw us launch the VP430 – the first 3U VPX platform to come to market with Xilinx’s remarkable RFSoC technology. I don’t think it’s any surprise to me that that’s been one of our most successful products in recent times. If that’s what being aggressive means – then our customers can look forward to more of the same.

Phillip Henson

Phillip Henson is Senior Product Manager responsible for Abaco’s DSP product line as well as legacy I/O products.  With a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Auburn University and an MBA from Vanderbilt University, his career has seen him with assignments at the DoD’s Missile Defense Agency and at Dynetics before joining Abaco in November 2016.