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Fairchild COO talks power management opportunities

Posted: 18 Nov 2013     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:MOSFET  IGBT  power  cloud 

Vijay Ullal, president and COO of Fairchild Semiconductor, talks to EE Times Europe's Paul Buckley and gives an update on how the company is doing a year after he accepted the post. Ullal discusses what he sees as major technology trends of 2014 and how they will impact Fairchild.

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 power management 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 urbanisation 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.

Fairchild COO Vijay Ullal

COO Vijay Ullal: Fairchild sees tremendous opportunities in energy, mobility and the cloud.

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 variable frequency 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 catalyse 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 motor control applications. Other areas in which we are investing are inverters for solar applications and electrical vehicles.

Our mWSaver technology is helping power supply 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 ever higher energy efficiency. We continue to develop best-in-class solutions for electronic power steering, ignition and EV traction.

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