BENGALURU, India — It's not enough to provide products or even technologies. The semiconductor industry, facing relentless price pressure and spiraling design costs, must provide solutions, Ray Stata, co-founder and chairman of Analog Devices. Inc., told members of the India Semiconductor Association here today (Feb. 26).
The challenge for chip companies is less about technology innovation, "which is no big deal," than about "getting industry executives and engineers to think differently," Stata said.
Speaking on "Semiconductors: An industry in transition—again," Stata said semiconductor companies need to be both systems and silicon providers. "In the solutions space, we are still learning, but so are a lot of others," he said. "For its part, Analog Devices is getting into providing new solutions but will not cede any ground that it holds with its current product range."
The industry is moving from product-centric strategies to application-centric and customer-centric models, Stata said. In the product-centric approach, companies have several customers for each product, and the focus is on providing technology through standard catalog components.
Companies that are application-centric usually have many customers for the same application and usually provide application-specific standard products (ASSPs). In the customer-centric approach, a company provides many products to each of its customers, and the value-add is delivering solutions.
Stata has made personal investments in a few Indian companies and is an adviser to an outfit incubated out of the Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai, that's exploring low-cost communication solutions for the developing world. Analog Devices' operations in the Indian cities of Bengaluru and Hyderabad cover product development from concept to silicon to production. Three generations of Sharc processors have been developed by the Indian team.
Elsewhere, Stata said, the Czech Republic is showing promise in design, and companies are setting up small design teams in that country.