In an exclusive interaction with IBEF, Satinder Sohi, India Country Director, Freescale Semiconductor India Pvt. Ltd discusses India’s growth potential, internet of things and the journey of Freescale in India. Edited excerpts:
IBEF: What are Freescale’s core competencies in the field of embedded process solutions and how are you leveraging this leadership?
Satinder Sohi (SS): We are leaders in the embedded processing space and have been producing cutting edge technology through our innovation and expertise in this space. Our end-to-end portfolio of high-performance, power-efficient MCUs and digital networking processors help realize the potential of the Internet of Things (IoT), reflecting our unique ability to deliver scalable, systems-focused processing and connectivity. Our large portfolio includes scalable MCU and MPU families from small ultra-low-power Kinetis MCUs to i.MX and Vybrid multimedia processors with advanced performance and feature integration and QorIQ communications processors that deliver industry-leading power and performance. Each family has been designed to offer a broad range of performance, peripheral and packaging options, providing migration paths for end-product platform development.
Through our huge portfolio of solutions we are able to touch various verticals like automotive, industrial, networking, consumer and medical and we are always updating and upgrading our portfolio with technology innovation.
IBEF: What is your view on the potential of the internet of things? How does Freescale Semiconductors view its role in this paradigm?
SS: IoT has usefulness across industries and it is very interesting to see how the trend is catching up across verticals. In the healthcare industry, the viable use of this trend can help in lowering costs and improving quality. Advances in sensor and connectivity technology are allowing devices to collect, record and analyse data that was not accessible before. In healthcare, this means being able to collect patient data over time that can be used to help enable preventive care, allow prompt diagnosis of acute complications and promote understanding of how a therapy (usually pharmacological) is helping to improve a patient’s parameters and more such things.
Similarly, in the auto industry, IoT has been used effectively, with automakers banking upon this technology to drive sales. The IoT extends to the automobile through wireless connections to the ITS infrastructure managing Infotainment, ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance) etc.
The IoT is a sort of universal “global neural network in the sky” that will touch every aspect of our lives. From a technology perspective, the IoT is being defined as smart machines interacting and communicating with other machines, objects, environments and infrastructures, resulting in volumes of data generated and processing of that data into useful actions that can “command and control” things and make life much easier for human beings. IoT would not only ease our daily lives with a minimal usage of time but in a cost efficient manner. Imagine a situation when your refrigerator informs when the daily vegetables are over or a car which tells you exactly how much km it will run on the available petrol. These functionalities not only enable least human interference but also provide data which is accurate and trust worthy. So the future is certainly bright and we will see all new possibilities coming into the picture with the wider adoption of IoT.
IBEF: How do you view the potential of India as a market for Freescale’s business verticals and as an innovation hub?
SS: India is a good contributor to the semiconductor business worldwide. Especially with digitization and the greater use of technology in the country, the semiconductor industry is surely expected to grow in the coming years. We have also been doing business sustainably in India and we have been very optimistic on our growth prospects here. India as a market has evolved over the past few years and is now starting to open up greater avenues and opportunities for us.
In terms of innovation, India is emerging as next hotbed for innovation. Freescale India is one of the biggest R&D centres outside of the US and we are contributing as well as driving a lot of projects meant for both global as well as the local market.
The India Design Centre is one of the largest Freescale R&D sites outside of the United States and is an integral part of the global organisation. It would be right to say that in this age we are doing the work quite in pace with our global counterparts. In fact, the team in India is responsible for driving many global projects as well and many a time in coordination with various centers.
However, the team here also works on developing solutions and products specifically for the India market and we have received good feedback from our customers here. We are developing solutions that support applications like data centre, security appliances, and mobile wireless infrastructure among other leading edge technologies in our India research centres.
IBEF: India is now poised to take a leap into the field of semiconductor fabrication. How you see the country moving towards realising its potential?
SS: The announcement of setting up manufacturing fabs in India has been welcomed by the Indian semiconductor players. Two consortiums have already submitted their proposals and expect to start running their own fabs very soon. This move from the government will build the manufacturing environment in the country and push the adoption of semiconductor solutions in the country. Few of the key markets that will surely be tapped are automotive, digital networking, sensor market and the defence sector. These are few of the key industry verticals that every semiconductor players looks to explore.
The decision to set up fabs in India in the long run will allow India to be self-dependent and will add on to boost the economy. International companies are now starting to look at India as a strong prospective market and are looking at investment here.