Focused R&D initiatives and diversified manufacturing approach are key elements of Maxim’s aggressive plan for growth: Ting Li

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Ting Li, Vice President Sales, Maxim Integrated Products, Inc.

Ting Li has vast experience behind him working at OSRAM Opto Semiconductors, Freescale Semiconductor, Avago Technologies and STMicroelectronics in Asia Pacific market including China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, South Asia, and India. He is an experienced sales leader with deep understanding of the semiconductor industry of the Pan Asia region, large and broad-market customers, and the distribution channel. Ting Li has now been appointed as Vice President Sales for Greater China and Rest of Asia of Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. Ting Li spoke to ELE Times to discuss his plans for the region. Excerpts.

ELE Times: In which direction is the trajectory of global electronic components market moving towards and where is Maxim placed in this track?

Ting Li: In automotive, semiconductor content will continue to grow in the double-digit percentages. We will see driver assistance features being added to cars that will improve safety. An example of this is an increased number of optical cameras being added to cars to enable a vision system for accident avoidance. Such new systems will require high-speed video distribution throughout the car. With this, we will see dramatic increases in computational capability required to process vision system data, which in turn requires more efficient power management. These trends play to Maxim’s strengths in video distribution and power management.

In addition, wearable equipment for vital-sign monitoring is rapidly evolving, and Maxim is committed to providing innovative wearable solutions for customers. Some factors to keep in mind for these designs include low power, form factor, and ease of design.

ELE Times: There is an ever-going technological shift in electronic components innovation? Where does Maxim see itself in this innovation scenario?

Ting Li: When we say that Maxim is empowering design innovation, those aren’t just words—innovation is at the cornerstone of everything we do.

With our innovative products, Maxim will continue to deliver the following benefits for its customers:

  • Helping design a safer, smarter car of the future – advanced driver assistance
  • Accelerating the path to Industry 4.0 – distributing automation to the factory floor
  • Delivering power and communications for cloud based services
  • Empowering the mobile experience for on-the-go lifestyles
  • Enabling a healthier world with medical and fitness devices moving closer to point-of-care
  • Ensuring trust through low-power, hardware-based security

ELE Times: How is Maxim geared-up to be a part of an IoT-driven world, with everyone and everything being connected to the electronic devices?

Ting Li: Maxim is well-positioned to address IoT applications with our power management and monitoring ICs, and security solutions, providing customers with high-performance products that can be trusted.

ELE Times: With its well spread spectrum of products and technological applications, we would like to know about the key areas in which Maxim is mostly involved and has a fair share of the market?

Ting Li: There are many application areas where Maxim has been successful.

One application area where Maxim expects to see continued growth in is automotive. For example, we will continue to invest in ADAS. Our know-how around power management and serial link technology enables the movement of vast amounts of data in the car for infotainment, driver assistance and safety. Data for uncompressed vision systems, displays, radar, lidar, remote radio for instance.

Another application area is industrial. Digital factories demand distributed control at the factory floor with lower power, smaller size, higher performance, and increased productivity. Maxim, with its strong IP portfolio and long history specializing in analog integration, is creating a new pathway to Industry 4.0.

Wearables and healthcare is another important area. The critical element today is to accurately measure bio signs such as heart rate under different motion conditions, while offering low power and long battery life. Maxim’s IP and knowledge for wearable health and fitness applications allows us to integrate multiple technologies in a tiny, low power package. We offer key technologies to provide measurement as well as extend battery life with sensors, power management and low-power specialty microcontrollers.

Even if demands in market areas shift, Maxim is prepared to be flexible in order to cater to customer demands and help them bring their products to market quickly.

ELE Times: Would you like to share with our readers about the financing endeavor, ‘Maxim Ventures’ by your company, and where and how does it see its implementation in India and rest of Asia?

Ting Li: Maxim Ventures was established about 18 months ago and to date, has invested in more than 10 early-stage companies. It works with system-level startups worldwide that are focused on improving Healthcare, Resource Management, Security, Financial Transactions, and Factory Productivity.

ELE Times: India is poised to be the next super-hub of manufacturing of electronics. In which light does Maxim look into these developments? 

Ting Li: As per a report in the Economic Times, chip-level manufacturing is core to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious Make in India programme, which may attract big-ticket investment within the entire ecosystem including design and R&D and potential job opportunities. Research firm Frost & Sullivan estimates that India’s semiconductor demand will bring economic opportunity worth $50 billion by 2020.Maxim Integrated is well poised to participate in the opportunities arising out of this, especially in the Industrial and Automotive segments.

ELE Times: What is the prospect inroad for Maxim in the automotive, industrial, healthcare, mobile and cloud data center business in India, given India opening up for Digitalization and Smart City projects?

Ting Li: Maxim’s team in India plays an important role to have a finger on the pulse of the domestic market and quickly sense market, as well as technology shifts. We have engineers in Bangalore to allow Maxim to reach customers through deep engagement.

Maxim fully supports growth in our India customers and looks forward to driving closer collaboration and partnership with them, to deliver semiconductor solutions that enable them to develop the most innovative products possible.

ELE Times: How has the global Automotive and Industrial market growth played a role in the recently witnessed 5% increase of net revenue in Maxim’s third quarter of the fiscal year 2017?

Ting Li: Industrial is now Maxim’s largest business, and industrial plus automotive is nearly 50% of total company revenue. Our Automotive business expands each year at a rate well above the market. Maxim is capitalizing on increased content opportunities in infotainment, safety and battery management systems and winning designs by providing high-performance products to a broad range of customers.

We are growing our factory automation content, which has supported year-over-year increases in our core Industrial business for the last four quarters. We forecast this to continue because Industry 4.0 provides new opportunities for semiconductor manufacturers like Maxim to apply advanced process technologies that improve power efficiency and reduce power consumption. It also demands higher levels of integration to shrink and reduce component footprints inside Programmable Logic controllers (the brains behind all Factory / Process Automation factories), and enables the integration of diagnostic capabilities.

ELE Times: Would you kindly throw light on how has the R&D investment strategy and manufacturing approach of Maxim played a crucial role in its market expansion spur?

Ting Li: Focused R&D initiatives and a diversified manufacturing approach are key elements of Maxim’s aggressive plan for growth and profitability.

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