Mike Hastings, marcom manager for Texas Instruments Standard Linear and Logic Semiconductor Group, had a really big phone bill recently. Due to a computer glitch, several design engineers who ordered samples of TI logic parts received something else instead: An automatic reply tersely advising them that their order had been kicked out of the system for review. Why? Because they had exceeded their sample quota. Complaints from some extremely irritated engineers quickly made their way up the corporate hierarchy to Mike, who suddenly went from having a good day to a bad day. "Talk about a stupid error," says Mike. "Our goal is to get samples into the hands of engineers." To make good on his word, Mike personally called every engineer and apologized. They got their parts the next day. And, presumably, as many more samples as they want.
With a better understanding of materials’ response to load and temperature, researchers could potentially use the knowledge to improve design. The research could even help geologists studying plate tectonics.
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