TI C55x Greatest Innovation in 15 Years?

I nearly fell off my chair laughing when I saw this come across my blogline:

Texas Instruments Incorporated (NYSE: TXN) (TI) today announced that its digital signal processors (DSP) that helped spawn the wireless communications revolution were named the “Greatest Innovation of the Past 15 Years.” Honored by EDN magazine, TI’s TMS320C55x DSPs were heralded as the most significant design innovation in the last decade and a half, beating out the likes of Intel’s Pentium processor and products from HP, ADI and others.

The reason I laughed so hard doesn’t come until the end of the press release:

A panel of EDN technical editors meticulously worked to identify the list of finalists in each category before EDN readers crowned TI DSP products winners in an online ballot [emphasis added].

When I was an employee at TI I would occasionally receive an email from some unknown marketing droid in Texas informing me of an online “reader’s choice award” survey, encouraging me to vote early and often for all the TI products listed. If I wasn’t terribly busy, I’d go to the website and fill it out. If I remember correctly, rumour at the time was that some of the marketeers had written a script to continuously submit ballots until the polls closed, but I could never bring myself to believe they could ever be that smart. Anyways, it seems that whatever they did paid off for them this time. They produced the greatest innovation of the last 15 years, even if it is by virtue of having the largest number of bored employees.

Alright, alright… To be fair, TI DSPs have had a huge impact on the world we live in. When I left TI in 2001, they dominated the cell phone market. I’m just having trouble imagining that any magazine readership would ever recognize it.

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