IoT – Next Growth Driver In Semicon Industry

by CXOtoday News Desk    Feb 18, 2014

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The semiconductor industry has grown manifolds in the last couple of years with semicon firms increasingly adopting new technology solutions for growth. Satinder Sohi, India Country Director, Freescale Semiconductor India throws light on the current challenges in the semiconductor ecosystem and explains how Internet of Things (IOT) is driving the next big wave of growth in the semiconductor industry.

What are the challenges in the semiconductor ecosystem presently?

Today everybody is talking about smart grids, smart meters and in large a smarter planet and this has only caused the boom in the industry. The semiconductor ecosystem is well poised at the moment and it is good to see that the government too is pushing this growth.

As an industry, we have to collectively build this ecosystem which will lead to a bright future ahead.  Government’s approval to set up the manufacturing fab in the country has been an inspiration for many players looking forward to expand operations and business in India. Though it involves a lot of investment but we have seen in the media reports that the country has already seen proposal from few players. So the ecosystem is in a very balanced situation currently and is only poised for growth in the years to come.

Which are the key verticals for Freescale’s business in India in terms of revenue generation?

The adoption has been across industry verticals, be it networking, automotive, consumer or industrial, they are all using semiconductor solutions in one way or another. From a Freescale perspective, both the networking and automotive industry is very important. In the auto segment, we have an extensive portfolio of products and solutions for the auto industry and are constantly upgrading and updating it according to market standards and needs. We have also lately announced a new programmable solenoid controller, designed to reduce emissions and improve fuel efficiency for both gasoline and diesel direct fuel injection engines. We have a wide base of auto customers and are always engaging with them to understand their needs and also to understand the changes and the demands of the market.

What are the changes happening at the technology level?

The electronics industry by large has undergone a huge transformation in recent years. With the advent of global technologies like cloud and IoT, the industry has shifted to the optimum adoption of these and has emerged as a strong foundation for driving growth in the country. 

Another noticeable change at the technology level is the popularization and adoption of Internet of Things (IOT) across the industry verticals. We have seen how IOT as a trend is growing big in the industry and is also adding value to end customer experience.

How is IoT driving the growth of this industry?

IoT has usefulness across industries and it is very interesting to see how the trend is catching up especially in the healthcare vertical. By the viable use of this trend, the hospital for instance can maintain patient records digitally, look at various propositions to treat a patient and many such more. It has also been used in the auto industry effectively and automakers are banking upon technology to drive sales and increase future at the lowest cost possible.

How are the emerging trends like cloud, big data and IoT changing the Auto sector?

When you buy a car you may be impressed by the technology that makes it safer, easier to use and more enjoyable to drive and the industry is very persistent in making the driver’s experience worth remembering. As a result, the automotive industry is always at the forefront of technology innovation – from vehicle technology to supply chain optimization, to product development and manufacturing, to aftermarket service and support. Today, Cloud, Big data and IoT all are playing big role in the industry.

The auto industry is coming up with many new technologies where IoT is adding value. Few examples being: Biker fall detection where IoT can add layers of assistance if the unthinkable happens. BTLE on a motorcycle with a gyro and accelerometer sensing combination can detect a potential accident. Then, with a connection to the driver’s smart phone, the phone can send an alert to emergency services using the cellular network indicating that there is a potential accident. Similarly, Smart parking lot of future will let the cellphone user find and reserve a free spot without visiting each one. Sensors or cameras will alert drivers with the proper app on their smart phones where they can find an open parking spot.

India has always been a strong market for the auto industry while IoT application is not used commonly yet but the future is not very far.

How is Freescale tapping this potential locally?

We have developed solutions which will help the auto industry in providing the desired experience to the end user. We have various applications ranging from Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) to Powertrain and Hybrid Systems. These applications can run in a modern day car and are meant to do specific jobs.  

Where do you see the semiconductor industry 5 years down the line? 

The semiconductor industry is already growing and 5 years down the line will be a prime solution provider for various industries. IoT has emerged as a massive trend over the past years. It is simply the phenomenon of connecting every device and enables a secure flow of information. 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.