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communities, such as the hub in Berlin, flourishing. There are others in Italy, Israel and India. So I think that young people are increasingly becoming more entrepreneurial and more technically oriented. This is a good thing for Bosch and the automotive industry. But maybe political leaders such as Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande could work on being more open-minded about technology and more positive in terms of encouraging young people into technology. Hanns Windele: Would you say that cross-functional development of technology is important to Bosch? Klaus Meder: We are definitely a company that is driven by innovation in technology. We are on a journey to become more user-centric. The point of interest here for me is that you should not sell technology, but you should solve your customer’s problem. Although I actually prefer the word ‘user’: the customer is the person who buys at the point-of-sale, and then there is the user, who will communicate with you their experience of the product. When you become more user-centric, you get very good success stories, such as the electric bike and the connected bike, where users are sharing their experience on-line and very quickly. Hanns Windele: Is there one change in the market that would Iconic insights make this journey faster? Klaus Meder: There are a lot of things that would make life easier, but in general what is needed is an improvement in quality systems. Quality is essential. No matter what the company size or location, this has to be unified and the target has to be zero defects. We have to become better at this. We have to improve quality and guarantee it. Hanns Windele: What would help you to improve the quality of your electronics and chip design? Klaus Meder: What we would like to have is an EDA system that is a seamless tool, from component layout Investigating different markets with Bosch’ e-bike systems. up to system level. It should integrate analogue and digital, and we should be able to implement the test sequences and patterns in the same tool. Talking of quality, the tool should support standards such as ISO26262 for functional safety, and the tool should be qualified under this standard too. It should be fast, with no waiting times and then it should also have a very good human-machine interface. I have seen designers go crazy with frustration because the best tool is useless if you don’t know how to use it. We are producing chips because we want to be the ‘integrated’ integrated device manufacturer within Bosch to leverage vertical synergies. Hanns Windele: What will be the pace of electronic technology in automotive? Klaus Meder: This is an important question. Because we are in the semiconductor industry, we all want to know how Moore’s Law will continue. We can see already that it is slowing down: we are not doubling the transistor density every 18 months any more. It is more like every two or even two-and-a-half years now. We can also see that technology steps – like the 450mm wafer – are arriving later or being delayed. So we are seeing a tendency to slow down on the silicon base. But our whole industry relies on increasing functionality while decreasing cost – the so-called learning curve. We all depend on that: but now the question is whether the next technology will kick in early enough and fast enough to keep this trend on-going. Hanns Windele: Is physical location any longer relevant to the automotive industry? Klaus Meder: The rise of the Chinese market was an overwhelming development that most people didn’t predict. I think there are many other markets that have the potential to develop in a similar way, such as ASEAN and Iran, or Russia. So I think that geography and geopolitical conditions matter for the development of the car markets. But when it comes to China, the whole of the industrial base is moving away from the image of being copycats, and their clear target is to become an important player in the field of technology too. Not only that, they will have the financial power to make it happen. China will also have the skills to do it. Therefore we will start to see their influence increasing. Hanns Windele: In terms of environmental sustainability, what are the biggest challenges? Klaus Meder: We need to make mobility environmentally acceptable and to have sustainable solutions. And it is important that we do this over the whole value-chain, starting with the manufacturing of the components, over the life span, right through until the recycling. QUICKFIRE QUESTIONS What’s your idea of a dream holiday? I like the oceans, so a nice hotel on a perfect beach with a new culture and cuisine to explore. What are you reading at the moment? Drive by Daniel H Pink, and I also like the mystery novels of Keigo Higashino. What would you take with you to a desert island? There’s never enough food on small tropical islands. Also a toolbox. If you could be the CEO of a non-tech company, what would that be? A hotel. I’m fascinated by making the user experience better. It there were extra hours in the day, how would you spend it? More sports, definitely. How many digital devices do you have on you just now? One. My Fitbit Activity Tracker. My watch is analogue and my phone is on my desk. What is the one gadget you couldn’t live without? A gadget is a gadget only because you can live without it. What piece of technology would you donate to a museum? I would give my timeline of 20 years of automotive gyro components from my office. www.electronics-eetimes.com Electronic Engineering Times Europe January 2016 11


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