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executive interview Energy, Mobility, and the Cloud: key opportunities for power-management solutions By Paul Buckley EE Times Europe Power Management’s editor, Paul Buckley interviews Vijay Ullal, the President and Chief Operating Officer of Fairchild Semiconductor, who joined Fairchild Semiconductor in September 2012. After a year in the post we discover how he sees Fairchild developing. EE Times Europe: In your first year as COO at Fairchild what aspects of the business do you think you have made progress with and where do you think you need to improve for the future? Vijay Ullal: In our first year, the focus has been on operational efficiency and technology development. Our quality, reliability and flexibility of our supply chain have improved significantly. Our technology cycles of learning per year have improved dramatically. I am excited by the strong foundation we have built for new product development. In our second year, we will build on this foundation by improving the effectiveness of our sales and marketing as well as fine-tuning our new product development machine. In particular, we will leverage our strength in discretes to provide complete power management solutions. EE Times Europe: What do you think will be the three major technology trends of 2014 and how will they impact Fairchild? Vijay Ullal: We see a tremendous opportunity for us in the next decade in the megatrends of Energy, Mobility, and the Cloud. Within each of these megatrends, we will excel at providing high-efficiency powermanagement Vijay Ullal, Fairchild Semiconductor’s COO: “We see a tremendous opportunity for us in the next decade in the megatrends of Energy, Mobility, and the Cloud” and power-delivery solutions in industrial, mobility, automotive and clean energy. In the industrial markets, we see an acceleration of the trend towards complete system in a package. In Mobile, we will continue to see a transition from building-block products to niche analogue systems on a chip. For the Cloud, there is a need for power-delivery solutions for data centres and ultra-low power networked wireless sensors for IoT applications. We are energized by the opportunity to play an important role in solving the problems of increasing cost, pollution and climate change. These are a direct result of the increased use of energy caused by the rapid urbanization of the world’s population. Let me talk about a few examples of how we think we can impact the lives of a large part of this population. For off-line power supplies, we aim to develop a ‘universal’ adapter that can be used for various portable devices. Imagine how convenient it would be if you only need to carry one adapter for most of your electronic devices, such as your smart phone, tablet, digital camera, portable multimedia player, and even your laptop. For brushless DC (BLDC) motor control, the advanced variablefrequency control technology that Fairchild is developing will speed up the adoption of this technology by providing a flexible yet cost-effective solution. It will help us further reduce household power consumption. The demand for Green home appliances will in turn create huge demand for BLDC motors. Fairchild aims to catalyze the transition from AC induction to BLDC motors by introducing modular motor-control algorithms to help small and mid-size home appliance manufacturers in implementing BLDC motorcontrol applications. Other areas in which we are investing are inverters for solar applications and electrical vehicles. Our mWSaver technology is helping powersupply designers achieve lower standby power in their applications, exceeding worldwide energy saving regulations in applications such as battery chargers, adapters and switch-mode power supplies for LCD TVs and printers. The automotive market is demanding everhigher energy efficiency. We continue to develop best-in-class solutions for electronic power steering, ignition and EV traction. LED technology is another area expected to grow dramatically over the next several years, and Fairchild Semiconductor is uniquely equipped to address the semiconductor requirements of the evolving LED market. We are developing a growing portfolio of building blocks that can be used for LED Lighting solutions. Fairchild will deliver power semiconductor solutions that have leading energy density, size and cost. We will do this by integrating leading MOSFET and IGBT technologies into advanced power modules. Our goal is to simplify the design process by providing a turn-key solution. We can do this because we have a unique combination of expertise in leading-edge process and packaging technology, IC design and knowledge of applications. EE Times Europe: Fairchild’s industrial and Appliance sales are now 40 percent of overall sales and growing fastest - what technologies are driving the growth? Vijay Ullal: Motor control is the largest segment of this market and consumes a significant percentage of the world’s energy. Consequently, there is a strong push across the world for energy efficiency driven by government regulatory mandates and by operators to reduce Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Specifically, a large percentage of energy consumption is attributed to HVAC, home appliances, pumps and fans which is the focus of Fairchild’s of investments. EE Times Europe: Only the industrial and automotive sectors appear to be following a growth curve in the past two years. Why? Vijay Ullal: Our growth has occurred in sectors where our invest- Vijay Ullal has 30 years of experience in the semiconductor industry, including engineering and operations leadership positions at Intel Corporation, Saratoga Semiconductor and, most recently, Maxim Integrated Products, Inc., where he was Group President, Consumer Solutions Division from 2007 to April 2012. 18 Electronic Engineering Times Europe November 2013 www.electronics-eetimes.com


EETE NOV 2013
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