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EETE MAR 2014

CEO Interview: Tunc Doluca preps Maxim for IoT era By Peter Clarke Maxim integrated ’s ceo, Tunc Doluca takes a few questions from EE Times Europe on analog, MEMS and the company’s strategy for the future. EE Times Europe: How would you characterize the differences between Maxim under your predecessor Jack Gifford and under yourself? Tunc Doluca: I worked with Jack Gifford for many years and respected him greatly. An effective teacher, he had passion, intellect and brilliant ideas. He drove people hard to deliver results, but he also rewarded them. I became CEO in 2007 and, although we have made several changes (such as centralizing our supply chain to better serve our customers and reorganizing to focus on end markets), we continue to execute on Maxim’s vision of creating highly integrated products. That started under Jack; it is not new for Maxim Integrated. In fact, we modified our company name in 2012 to underscore that focus and expertise. We accelerated the changes to adapt the company to our strategy. EE Times Europe: Is it a move away from analog building block products and towards mixed-signal solutions including software? And some digital-only solutions? Tunc Doluca: Maxim has built a leadership position in analog and mixed-signal integration. We continue to grow operational excellence and revenue in areas such as multichip system-inpackages and fully integrated mixed-signal SoCs. While highly integrated products, which now comprise about half of our revenues, are our differentiator, we continue to create great buildingblock products. That will never change. Over time, we have built a rich portfolio, which grows to this day. These ICs showcase our innovation, are successful in the market, and help our customers differentiate their systems. Ultimately, many of our standalone products will emerge as candidates to be integrated with others onto a chip. However, some of these products will remain clever, best-in-class discrete components. EE Times Europe: Is it more application and market oriented? In which case what are Maxim’s markets and what characterizes them in terms of volumes, ASPs, etc.? Tunc Doluca: In 2011, we reorganized to focus on end markets so, yes, I would say we are market-oriented. Driven by demand for smartphones, mid-range phones and tablets, our mobility business grew the fastest. It is currently the largest segment in terms of revenues. As smaller form factors and power efficiency become more critical, we target other applications that can benefit from our expertise in analog integration. These include smart meters, automotive infotainment and portable medical equipment. However, we value and target the broad market, too, primarily small and medium sized customers in the industrial space. Our business model effectively balances high-growth mobility with the stability and long term annuity of the industrial and communications markets. EE Times Europe: Where do you manufacture and what is the strategy? Tunc Doluca: Several years ago, we centralized our supply chain operations. That enabled us to better serve our customers and realize efficiencies. To provide flexibility and additional capacity, our hybrid manufacturing model has served us well. Our internal wafer fabs are located in the U.S. –-San Jose, Calif., San Antonio, Tunc Doluca, Maxim Integrated’s CEO Texas, and Beaverton, Oregon. Our test and assembly sites are in the Philippines and Thailand. We engage foundry partners to augment our internal facilities, and about half of our products are made at partners’ fabs using Maxim’s unique process technologies. These are true partnerships, not simple outsourcing. EE Times Europe: I think under Jack a number of mature manufacturing facilities were acquired right up until 2007. Under yourself none! Are you becoming more fab-lite over time? Tunc Doluca: Keeping some manufacturing in-house differentiates us from our fabless competitors because in analog, there are specialty technology requirements. We designed our hybrid manufacturing model –- i.e. using a blend of internal fabs and foundry partnerships –- to flex according to demand and market needs. It is working very well for us; I do not anticipate it changing. EE Times Europe: You have a proprietary process technology at 0.18-micron but what about mixed-signal at 90nm, 65nm, 28nm. Do you rely on foundries for that? Tunc Doluca: While we utilize our foundry partners to manufacture products on some of the smaller-geometries, they are using Maxim’s proprietary process technologies. As a result, we continue to heavily invest in this area. Obviously, we do not publicly discuss “which specific process technologies are where.” However, I can tell you we have qualified and are ramping several leading-edge analog processes in our own fabs. Several product lines require deep sub-micron technologies and for those we utilize merchant foundry process at and below 65nm. EE Times Europe: What is the role of MEMS and other sensors at Maxim? Do you have all the building blocks for wireless sensor networks? Internet of Things? Tunc Doluca: Sensors are a critical adjacent function to analog semiconductors, and the sensor market is expected to grow rapidly as new applications emerge. Through both internal development and acquisitions, sensors and MEMS have an impactful role at Maxim. While our gesture sensor in Samsung’s Galaxy S4 received considerable attention, we are actually investing, developing and manufacturing sensors for numerous applications and markets. In fact, very few semiconductor companies have touch, motion/ MEMS and optical sensor technologies in their portfolios. We have all three. It is possible to fuse various types of sensors with our analog technology, enabling all sorts of applications, including the Internet of Things and wearables.... read the full interview online 18 Electronic Engineering Times Europe March 2014 www.electronics-eetimes.com


EETE MAR 2014
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