Industry and Entrepreneurship


If you are looking for a snapshot of the industrial development activities I’ve done over the years, checkout my CV, available under the Bio tab. If you would like more of a narrative of my interactions with the industry, keep reading.

These days, if I am working with the industry, I mostly do consulting. I have however started my career within FTN IRAM RT, a company that has since evolved into RT-RK. FTN IRAM was a company cofounded by the Faculty of Technical Sciences, so I was technically a teaching assistant at the Chair for Computer Engineering, but most of my work focused on the design and implementation of specific modules of a C Compiler for a family of Digital Signal Processors MAS35xx produced by Micronas(now TDK-Micronas). These specific processors had 7 different stages of pipeline and could perform specific instructions in each stage, which made them hell to program, but allowed them to achieve amazing performance for the time, if you got things right. I started working on the pre-processor for this compiler, as part of the project for a course in the final years of my studies and continued to design and develop the liveness analysis, code synchronization and code optimization modules. My MSc work focused on code optimization using Genetic Algorithms. Micronas decided to invest in a joint company with the leadership of FTN IRAM RT and the company transitioned to MicronasNIT, long before its transformation into RT-RK. I was long gone by the time it became RT-RK, having moved to Florida to pursue my PhD, but stuck around for the first two years or so of MicronasNIT. There was always another project to work on at that time, so I did assembly programming to develop a MIDI audio synthesis solution for the Micronas DSP, helped port the GNU C compiler to their MIPS-based platform and develop a mutithreading platform for the same processor. The @#$*! MIPS thing connected to the development board using a BGA connector, so your 20-minute-long download-your-code-to-the-chip session would get stuck half way through, so you had to restart. That is when I learned to do origami. It was hard work, but I learned a lot about system programming and embedded system development.

While I was doing my PhD, I was doing odd jobs implementing software, but, with the exception of the research project we were doing for Motorola iDEN I had no significant interactions with the industry. This changed late in my PhD studies, when, together with my good friends Branko Petljanski and Daniel Socek, I started my first company (CoreTex Systems, LLC). We developed FPGA cores for AES, DES and SHA cryptographic algorithms and did some video coding consulting for RealNetworks. I even got to implement and MPEG Audio decoder for Telex. The company is now defunct, and has been so for a while, but I learned a lot and enjoyed every moment of it.

Since coming back to Serbia, I’ve worked with PanonIT, as one of the founders and most of my industry-related activities funneled through that entity. In that time, it grew from a one-man show, to a company of a 100 or so engineers. I have, in late 2017, parted ways with the company.

As I write this, I am spending my sabbatical working as a Senior Research Scientist in a truly unique startup foundy (TandemLaunch), helping many young, educated, enthusiastic people realize their entrepreneurial dreams and perpetually learning new things about how to improve the commercialization of IP produced in research groups around the world.