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Who we are

Arira Design is a multi-disciplinary electronic design team providing both circuit board and system level design expertise.  Our clients range from startups to large multinational corporations. We are a diverse team with years of hands-on experience.

Our team possesses design experience on a broad array of product types.  We have placed products in markets such as IoT, wearables, batteries, communications, servers, avionics, medical, and defense.

We believe successful product development requires cross-functional collaboration.  To that end, we work closely with our clients to satisfy their product requirements and ensure that we not only meet their expectations, we exceed them.

What we do

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Meet Our Team

Craig Paulsen

President, Co-founding Principal

Hobby: Traveling the world
Favorite food: Something unhealthy (which he tries to avoid)
Interesting fact: In his “spare” time, He enjoys coaching youth basketball

B.S. in Computer Engineering from California State University, Chico, CA


Craig has been working in the design services industry for more than 25 years, as a design engineer, product architect, and program manager. During this time, he has led a vast range of projects and product types. Craig has been involved in the development of systems and cards for several companies including Altera, Apple, Broadcom, Cisco, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Juniper, Network Appliances, Sun Microsystems, and numerous start-ups.

Special areas of focus: Communication Systems, Multimedia Platforms, and Product Architecture and Management.

B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Seattle University, in Seattle, WA

Tom Wood

CTO, Co-founding Principal

Hobby: Woodwork
Favorite Food: Steak
Interesting fact: He grew up in a town called “Boring”

Tom got his start designing laptop computer systems for Hewlett Packard’s Mobile Computing Division and has since compiled more than 25 years of design experience to a large variety of clients. Tom previously worked as a design engineer and product architect, where he performed on a wide variety of projects ranging from mobile handheld products to large telecom communications systems.

Special areas of focus: Handheld and low power design and racked systems design.

Atsushi Murase

Senior Design Engineer

Hobby: Playing guitar/bass
Favorite food: Japanese
Interesting fact: He plays acoustic guitar in a cover band

B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Columbia University in New York, NY


Atsushi has over 25 years of experience in the design, development, testing, and production release of a wide range of system- and board-level products, such as: Intel/AMD/PowerPC/MIPS/ARM-based motherboards; FPGA-based test and production platforms; electrical/optical networking line cards, switch fabrics, and routers; storage servers; and multimedia set top boxes. In addition to seamlessly working with MCAD, software, manufacturing, and project management teams, he has shown his versatility in leading the ground-up development and sustaining support of a company-wide CAD library infrastructure for 100+ users.

M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Santa Clara University specializing in Computer Architecture, and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from The Ohio State University, specializing in Electronic Communications Systems

Brad Drake

Senior Design Engineer

Hobby: Hiking
Favorite food: A properly cooked rib eye steak
Interesting fact: His favorite show is The Prisoner


Brad has been working in the electronics and computer industry for over 30 years, beginning his career at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space, where he was responsible for board level design, bring up, and debug on several image processing systems and RAID storage systems. At Arira, Brad has been involved with numerous carrier designs including ComExpress and SMARC embedded motherboards.

Rod McInnis

Senior Design Engineer

Hobby: Dirt bike racing
Favorite food: Meat lover
Interesting fact: He is an abalone diver

BSEE from California State University, Fullerton, CA

Rod has almost 40 years of experience with system, board, and FPGA/ASIC level designs. At the system level, he has experience with camera systems, digital video recorders, laser scanning, opto-mechanical, servo control and feedback control systems. Rod is also experienced with regulatory agencies (FCC, TUV) and safety agencies including UL and CSA. Rod has been working with FPGAs since the mid 1990’s and ASICs since 1997. Former employers include Adobe Systems, Tivo, Exar Semiconductor, and Nvidia Systems.

B.S. in Computer Engineering from North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC

James Evans

Senior Design Engineer

Hobby: Growing cacti
Favorite food: Pumpkin cheesecake
Interesting fact: He is a Frank Zappa fan

James has been designing boards and systems for over 25 years.  He has worked on all stages of product development, from initial architectural planning to design capture and implementation, bring-up, validation test & debug, and longevity and failure analysis.  Past design work includes products such as M-series SPARC servers, set top boxes, ASIC emulation system, and reference designs for video acquisition hardware. While at Arira, James has been the lead developer on products as small and efficient as a battery operated office management platform and as large and robust as avionics systems.

Fang Chu

Senior Design Engineer

Hobby: Hiking
Favorite food: Noodles
Interesting fact: Sang at a campfire with other people
all over the camp at Yosemite

M.S. in Electrical Engineering from San Jose State University, CA

Fang has over 10 years of experience in system-level design, which includes circuit design, system bring-up, integration, and debugging. Before Arira, Fang worked as a systems R&D engineer in the Telecom field. She was responsible for system design and hardware/firmware implementation based on DSP. In addition to design work, Fang works as a component engineer, building parts and managing parts databases for the team. She also spends time writing Python scripts for validation testing. 

BSEECS from Santa Clara University, CA

Peter Baran

System Architect

Hobby: Hunting
Food: Mexican
Interesting fact: He carries a flip phone

Peter has 35 years of experience with hardware, ASIC, and FPGA development.  He is a veteran in the video space, having designed and brought to market several standard and non-standard video architectures (from optics to encoding and video processing).  Peter also has extensive experience in the architecture of network and communication systems.  Peter has worked at Be Here, Mellanox, LSI Logic, Silicon Graphics, and Adobe Systems.

Our Partners

Wendy Liang

Marketing and Communications Specialist

Hobby: Archery
Food: Sushi
Interesting fact: She has a pet bunny named Macchiato

B.S in Business Marketing and Public Relations from San Jose State University, CA

Jim Arthur

Principal Mechanical Engineer

Wendy is a recent graduate with 4 years of experience in digital marketing and social media marketing. She was the former Social Media Director at Access Magazine in San Jose, CA.

B.S. in Industrial Engineering & Technology from San Jose State University

Jim has over 25 years of experience in the design and development of mechanical packaging and extensive experience in compliance approval/product testing, new product introduction & manufacturing, as well as product documentation and vendor interaction/project management. In 2003, Jim started Back9 Design, a mechanical engineering and product design company specializing in providing start-ups and small companies with mechanical design, prototyping, and project management services. Over the years, Jim has worked on many successful products developed in the Bay Area and is proud to be partnered with Arira Design.

Our Leaders

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Chris Heard

Signal Integrity Engineer

B.S. in Engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Linked-In

Chris has 30+ years in high-speed interconnect design including signal integrity, power integrity, channel analysis, engineering software tool creation, thermal design, and power distribution. Chris held engineering positions at Teradyne, Chipcom Corporation, 3Com Corporation, Cereva Networks and Amphenol Corporation and has been involved in backplanes, chassis design, cooling, and power delivery systems. He holds patents on chassis level cooling, EMI containment and disk drive packaging.

Mark Sapper

Principal Engineer

BSEE from Valparaiso University

Mark brings over 30 years of experience in all phases of project development, including system architecture, board design, ASIC and FPGA design. Mark’s experience spans a wide range of products including wireless devices, digital video, high performance 3D graphics, SMP computing, video distribution systems, test equipment, image processing, signal processing, medical equipment, disk arrays, and high-speed serial interfaces. Mark has worked with over 20 companies including LSI Logic, L3 Communications, and Be Here Corporation.

Special areas of focus: FPGA design and integration

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