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Director, Systems Architecture

Santa Clara, California, USA

Dialog Logo
Senior System Architect

Swindon, UK and Berlin, Germany


Cambridge, UK

Senior Engineering Manager

Cambridge, UK

Software Group Leader

Cambridge, UK


Saarbruecken, Germany

PhD Cognitive Science

Birmingham, UK and Bonn, Germany


Cambridge, UK


Specialist in silicon-based rapid product development and commercialization. Adept at working in fast-paced consumer electronics environments, with a passion for creating tools and methodologies to bring new insight into a wide range of technology areas.

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Experienced Manager

A strong track record of team leadership, development and motivation. Extensive Project Management and Project Lead experience.

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Experienced Engineer

System Architecture, Product Development, Technical Due Diligence, Competitor Analysis, System Integration, Digital Design, and Software skills. PhD in Cognitive Science; MEng in Microelectronic Systems Engineering.

Director, Systems Architecture Emerging Products

Dialog Semiconductor, Santa Clara (California, USA)

I moved to Silicon Valley in August 2014 to help Dialog fast-track the commercialization of early-stage start-ups. I leverage the technologies and expertise available within Dialog to accelerate commercialization, whilst still retaining the dynamics and philosophy of a lean startup. A few of my larger projects have been:

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As part of the acquisition process, I carry out competitor analysis and technical due diligence. After acquisition, I stay involved with best practice exchange of ideas and techniques.

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I drive Dialog’s participation in the EEMBC benchmark working groups. These include the ULPMark-CM (Ultra-Low-Power CoreMark), along with the IoTMark-BLE and IoTMark-WiFi benchmarks.

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BLE Mesh Smart Lighting Demonstrator Combining our BLE SoCs with our LED drivers we developed a complete Smart Home demonstrator. As part of this project, I wrote a low-latency mesh implementation and helped with App development.

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Loose-fit Multi-Spectral Bio Sensor Working with a local startup, we developed a form-factor prototype using Filtered Photo Sensors, a Dialog Analog Front End, and a BLE SoC to verify the technology in large scale trials. In this instance I managed and led the technical aspects of the project. Although tantalizingly close, the technology didn't quite prove robust enough for commercialization at the required cost point.

Senior System Architect

Dialog Semiconductor, Cambridge (UK), and Berlin (Germany)

As part of Dialog’s Corporate Strategy group, we developed a light-touch approach to IC development that accelerated access to new markets. I was the group’s System Architect and Primary Technical Lead.

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In-Glass Multi-Touch IC

DA8901 was Developed under contract to FlatFrog (Sweden) to cost-reduce and miniaturize their FPGA-based technology. The IP development was out-sourced, with 50 engineers working across 5 companies and multiple countries, giving a 10:1 leverage on our internal resources. I was both System Architect and Technical Project Lead. Working silicon was delivered 5 months after specification sign-off, with a single test structure metal fix to production silicon.

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2D-to-3D Converter IC

DA8223 was the world’s first real time 2D to 3D video conversion chip for portable devices using an integrated parallax barrier screen driver that lets users view 3D content without the need for glasses. I was System Architect and Lead Digital Designer on the project as well as providing the Software for algorithm verification. We went from spec sign-off to silicon demonstration at MWC in 5 months.

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Transparent Display IC

DA8620 was a PMOLED driver using multi-line addressing to extend the display resolution from CIF to QVGA by dynamically analyzing the image and driving common data in parallel. I was System Architect on the project which was used in the transparent display of the Lenovo S800 phone.

DA8901 PB
Product Brief
In-Glass Multi-Touch 2013
DA8901 InGlass
DA8901 Block Diagram
DA8901 Touch
DA8223 PB
Product Brief
2D-to-3D Converter 2011
DA8223 How it works
DA8223 How it works 2
DA8223 How it works 3
DA8223 SW
DA8223 Demo
DA8620 PB
Product Brief
Multi-Line PMOLED Driver 2009
DA8620 SmartXtend
DA8620 Car
DA8620 S800


CuriousDog Consulting, Cambridge (UK)

After Broadcom, I took six months out to travel (New Zealand) and investigate various start-up opportunities. In April 2008 I picked up a consulting contract with Dialog Semiconductor to develop multi-line PMOLED driver algorithms. I joined Dialog full-time in Jan 2009 to take the algorithms through to final silicon.

Senior Engineering Manager

Broadcom, Cambridge (UK)

Alphamosaic was acquired after 3 years by Broadcom for $123 million. The Apple video iPod was launched a year later, powered by VideoCore™ technology. Having been involved in the development of three generations of the processor, I left Broadcom in November 2007 to do some travelling. VideoCore lives on in the SoC, and team, behind Raspberry Pi.

Software Group Leader

Alphamosaic, Cambridge (UK)

I was a member of the founding team of Alphamosaic, a low-power Video Processor start-up targeting the mobile consumer electronics market. I played an active role in both the development of the architecture and the business as the company grew, providing technical expertise at high-level customer meetings. I managed numerous integration and development projects with Far Eastern partner companies and acted as a project reviewer for projects run by members of my group.

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Software Group Leader

I was responsible for the software architecture, future feature set definition, resource management, and software releases. I grew my group from 5 to 17 members before splitting to spawn new groups and restarting the process.

My Product Software Group provided all the components needed to play, create, and edit multimedia content on a mobile device powered by our processor. The software package included support for all the leading audio and video codecs, file handlers, and streaming protocols, as well as audio and video special effects, sophisticated camera ISP, and both vector and 3D graphics engines.

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System Design

For the first generation VC01 product, I wrote the architecture specification, the Verilog for a couple of the peripherals, the odd software module, looked after debug, and managed the early customer engagements with our FPGA-based development kit. VC01 taped out with a total engineering team size of 15 people.

With the second generation BCM2722 product, I was responsible for writing the camera and display peripherals (in verilog), looking after FPGA builds, driving the verification effort, and making sure that the design met high-level requirements.

The third generation VideoCore product BCM2727, launched in October 2007, shattered three mobile multimedia records with in-house developed IP: 720p H264 HD Video, 12 Megapixel Camera (144 Mpixels/s processing), and 3D Gaming (32 million triangles/s). My primary focus was high-level software and system structure. I also looked after the validation and FPGA verification environment.

Alpha Group Photo
Group Photo June 2001
First Connection
First Hookup of FPGA System
Tape Out
VC01 Tape Out July 2002
VC01 Working Oct 2002
Samsung SCH-V420

VideoCore 1

Korean TV Ad with
Lee Hyori

The Chilli Report
Alphamosaic Due Dilligence 2004
Samsung SCH-V540

VideoCore 1

Korean TV Ad with

Samsung SCH-V4200

VideoCore 1

Korean TV Ad with
Kwon Sang-woo

The Chilli Report
Broadcom acquisition of Alphamosaic 2004
Apple Video iPod 2005
Apple Video iPod

VideoCore 2

UK TV Ad with

Samsung SPH-B3100

VideoCore 2

Mobile TV (DMB)
Music on Demand
TV Out

Nokia N8

VideoCore 3

12MP Camera
720p Video
3D Gaming

Product Brief
VideoCore Product Briefs

AI Researcher

DFKI, Saarbrücken (Germany)

The Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz (DFKI) is one of Europe’s largest contract research institutes in the field of Artificial Intelligence. I was employed on a 2-year contract to develop a model of emotion and personality for web-based Avatar presentation agents. Other activities included the automatic analysis of web pages, writing proposals for EU initiatives, giving talks, presenting papers and posters, and peer-reviewed articles for conferences and publications. I left DFKI to join the Video Processor start-up Alphamosaic, which was spinning out Cambridge Consultants.

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Talk on DFKI's Presentation Agent project (1999) Presentation.pdf

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Allen, S. (2000). Control States and Motivated Agency. In E. André (Ed.) Behavior Planning for Life-Like Characters and Avatars: Proceeding of the i3 Spring Days '99 Workshop. pages 43-61. March 1999, Sitges, Spain. Paper.pdf

André, E., Klesen M., Gebhard, P., Allen, S., and Rist, T. (1999). Integrating Models of Personality and Emotions into Lifelike Characters. In A. Paiva (Ed.) Affect in Interactions Towards a New Generation of Interfaces. pages 150-165. Paper.pdf

Research Student

University of Birmingham, Birmingham (UK) and Bonn (Germany)

In November 1995, I started a PhD research project investigating the types of cognitive processes associated with concern processing in autonomous agents (including human affective processes). This research was carried out within the Cognition and Affect project at Birmingham University, under the supervision of Professor Aaron Sloman. For my thesis I investigated how concerns – dispositions to desire the occurrence or non-occurrence of a given kind of situation – are processed at the different levels of an autonomous agent architecture and how they relate to other control states such as beliefs, intentions, goals, and desires.

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Allen, S. (2001). Concern Processing in Autonomous Agents. PhD Thesis, School of Computer Science, University of Birmingham. Thesis.pdf or Overview.pdf

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Talk on "Emotions, Personality and other Woolly Concepts" (2000) Presentation.pdf

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Allen, S. (2000). A Concern-Centric Society-Of-Mind Approach To Mind Design. In Proceedings of the AISB'00 Symposium on How To Design A Functioning Mind. April 2000, Birmingham, England. Paper.pdf

Schillo, M., Allen, S., Fischer, K., Klein, C. (2000). Socially Competent Business Agents With Attitude: Using Habitus-Field Theory to Design Agents with Social Competence. In Proceedings of the AISB'00 Symposium on Starting from Society - The Application of Social Analogies to Computational Systems. April 2000, Birmingham, England. Paper.pdf


Cambridge Consultants, Cambridge (UK)

During my five years at CCL, I worked on many different projects, covering all aspects of the product development cycle. Three typical projects were: Persona contraceptive for Unipath; XAP processor which was developed as an in-house project to support mixed analogue/digital ASIC solutions; and Ferroscan steel reinforcement bar imaging / measurement scanner for Hilti. My Undergraduate / Master’s degree covered both analogue circuit theory and digital hardware design (as well as software engineering). At CCL, I specialised in the area of digital electronics at the hardware / software interface.

In addition to my technical roles, I was also heavily involved in writing project proposals, setting up projects, defining tasks, controlling the budget, liaising with clients, and general day to day running of the project. I left Cambridge Consultants to pursue a PhD in Cognitive Science.


Hilti Ferroscan

CCL developed a novel approach to embedded software development. The product's user interface and underlying architecture is first simulated in a high-level environment to give rapid prototyping and physical confirmation of product specification. Once the specification is fixed, the simulation is trans-coded to give the actual embedded software for the final product. Within the context of this development cycle, I wrote the multi-tasking system and device-driver software for the Ferroscan imaging and measurement instrument.


XAP Assembler

CCL developed its own Low Power RISC processor, called the XAP (XAP ASIC Processor), for use in embedded applications. The XAP processor, and tool chain, was later adopted by Cambridge Silicon Radio as the embedded processor for their first Bluetooth chips, and commercialised by Cyan Technologies with their eCOG1k processor. I specified, designed and coded the Macro Assembler for the XAP processor. The assembler was used as the main tool in software development, both as a stand alone product, and by providing the back-end to the XAP 'C' compiler.


Unipath Persona

A natural method of contraception that identifies the fertile days of a woman's cycle. Persona works by monitoring the changes in hormones (luteinising hormone and estrogen) which control a woman's cycle and identifies the days when she is at significant risk of becoming pregnant. I was part of the initial feasibility study, and stayed with the projects through to final product design, writing all the embedded software (excluding algorithms) and looking after many of the experiments.




First and foremost - All the amazing people I've worked with over the years.