Freescale Semiconductors (NYSE:FSL) is a p rovider of embedded processing solutions for automotive, consume r, industrial and networking markets. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, the company also provides microprocessors, microcontrollers, sensors and analog ICs to a host of big companies.
Concerted effort to Evolve:
The major roles are deciding strategies with respect to addressing the market. It is important to notice how products can influence the market and recognize India’s position as a player. The economical progress of India gives a great chance for investment in Research and Development. The Indian perspective poses challenges to build and train talent along with a concerted effort to constantly evolve technology strategically.
Focus on simple yet efficient products:
Within the automotive vertical, electronics plays a very crucial role. For instance, the good fuel efficiency of modern day cars can be attributed to new electronic devices that work behind the scenes to reduce fuel consumption and combustion. With technology developing at such a fast rate, cars are no longer manufactured along the lines of comfort and horsepower, but on infotainment, mileage and specifications of music systems to name a few. Safety also plays a crucial role in the industry today. Freescale Semiconductor focuses on passive safety mechanisms which are electronic devices that can trigger safety gadgets such as airbags in case of emergencies.
The next generation is moving onto active safety measures which have the potential to avoid accidents and save lives. Example is that of a chip capable of receiving a signal to detect a vehicle in front and brake automatically.
More devices in the future are going to be hooked onto the network. Unless new devices and solutions are found for networking, the traffic is going to choke the internet in a big way. Similar situation arose twenty years back when landlines were choked and callers were greeted with engaged tones.
Major influences and tackling the nuisance of fake chips:
Freescale influences industrial applications as well as home automation and appliances largely. There are two main aspects of technological problems that should be taken into consideration. The first is how technology affects security in the form of crypto engines and video surveillances. Secondly, there is huge concern in the semiconductor industry about chips being duplicated. According to a recent study, it is estimated that the value of counterfeit parts that made their way into the U.S. supply chain in 2011 was over $5 billion. Some cases of IP address infringement have also been reported. These issues need to be tackled comprehensively.
Importance of quick adaptation:
Requisition for rapid advancements in technology is going to play a role as a big challenge in the current scenario. With clients requesting for more compact and powerful products, the geometries of the device are getting so minute that manufacturing these devices becomes tougher by the minute. There are alternate technologies continuously entering the market. This poses a huge problem in the industry owing to new nanotechnological domains.
The second challenge is optimization of solutions for clients. How to build a product that the client can use in the market? The cost and power efficiency needed to incorporated with the same are mind numbing. It took 15 years for computers to be accepted in common households, Internet took five and cell phones three years. The latest craze of tablets was accepted within a year. This shows that the acquisition time for products keeps decreasing drastically. Products and applications need to be made that can be deployed and will be successful within a year, and the revenue needs to be realized out of it. The consumer base is growing rapidly and there is no choice, but to get accustomed to the changing trends in the swiftest possible way.
Moving towards low powered devices:
Semiconductors are going to find a place in almost every market segment. There is going to be a plethora of medical devices in the near future. This will be seen from personalized medication products to the more sophisticated space of big hospitals and medical institutions. The next major shift is towards low power consuming devices. Since most devices are turning to portability, low powered technology is going to be a part of every other vertical.
Major developments from India:
India market drives a lot of the new products. However, a global perspective is important for the whole machinery of the company. 10 years back Freescale tapped into the inverter market by devising mechanisms that recognized better semiconductors and efficient chips. The Indian centre builds its own personalized reference designs to the taste of the clients and the market. Cost sensitive devices for cars such as Tata and Mahindra were also developed in India.
Tapping into the Asian Marketing giants:
As the company is into multiple fields, there is a complete possession of a catalogue of sensors and software. The firm is more than just a provider of processors analogues and microcontrollers. With a team of over 1000 employees, there is continuous expansion in Bangalore, Hyderabad and Noida centers. Focusing on Asia is one of the key priorities for Freescale in the coming years. However there will also be continuous focus on the U.S. market as it is one of the biggest in the world right now.
(As told to Vignesh A)