Top 10 semiconductor growth drivers: Intersil
Intersil is a strong company with long heritage, according to David Bell, president, CEO and director, Intersil Corp. It is currently building intelligent, innovative leadership products, and targeting fast growing markets. India is key to Intersil’s success. He was speaking on the occasion of Intersil announcing expansion plans in India.
The company is a leader in high perfornance analog and mixed-signal ICs, and has 35 global locations, including 17 design centers, and had a revenue of $761 million in 2011. It offers a broad range of analog and mixed-signal products for power management, analog and mixed-signal and consumer products.
Intersil’s ‘asset-lite’ manufacturing benefits include access to advanced technologies, speciallized technologies that are retained in-house, flexible capacity and reduced risk. It is developing more integrated and intelligent products that simplify customers’ design process.
Top 10 growth drivers
According to Bell, the top 10 growth drivers today are: active cables, audio, automotive, dense power conversion, digital power management, digital power modules, PC power management, pico projectors, optical sensors and security surveillance.
For high performance digital power management, Intersil is adopting patented Zilker Labs digital-DC technology. It can be easily configured for a range of system requirements. There is a high level of integration and embedded intelligence, as well as PMBus interface. Intersil developed the world’s first encapsulated digital power modules. A complete power solution, it has the controller, MOSFETs and all discrete components.
Intersil has a complete pico projector chipset solution as well that supports LED and laser-based systems. Native green lasers are now enabling scanned laser systems. The company has also witnessed a large growth in pico projectors. While 3 million units were shipped in 2011, 58 million units are forecasted to be shipped in 2015. Pico projectors will soon be embedded in notebooks, smartphones and tablets.
In automotive, the company is focusing on affordability, connectivity, efficiency and safety. Trends include Li-ion multi-cell balancing and monitoring, start-stop system power, LCD display processors, ambient light sensors and D2Audio premium sound. Among active cables, consumer products are demanding higher data rates. There are higher resolution displays such as HD, WXGA, as well as faster I/O like PCIe and upgrade to USB. More power is required for faster charging.
In dense power conversion, Intersil is creating extremely dense DC-DC converters, with controllers and power MOSFETs. High switching frequency with smaller external components is required, as is advanced packaging — with stacked die to minimize package footprint. Optical sensors is another interest area. The highest performance units are looking at devices that match human eye response, have best infrared rejection and lowest power consumption. A variety of sensor functions include ambient light, short-range proximity and long-range proximity (up to 2 meters). User-presence detection and non-contact gesture recognition are opening new possibilities.
As for audio, Intersil has been providing amazing audio — such as sound bars, docking stations, home theater systems and automotive infotainment. The DSP+ClassD amplifier is a single chip solution. In PC power management, Intersil has 70 percent share in notebook Vcore power. It has optimized solution for all platforms — desktops, notebooks, tablets and ultrabooks. Finally, in security surveillance, Intersil has been ranked no. 1 in video decoders for security surveillance. The new H.264 codecs simplify DVR design. Innovative new functions include security link over coax (SLOC) and Fisheye lens processor.
Importance of India
India will be the world’s fifth largest consumer market by 2015. The aggregate consumption will likely grow 4X over 20 years, with 54 percent of the Indians being under 25 years. India is also the second most favored destination for foreign direct investment (FDI) in the world.
Intersil is targeting key segments in India — automotive – techwell, power management and EV/HEV, defense/mil/space – power modules and high speed, ADC solutions, rad tested devices, and international design houses — for direct application support and reference design support. The international design houses segment is likely to be worth $16.8 billion, growing at a CAGR of 17 percent by 2020. The main segments in India are the VLSI design, embedded software design and board/hardware design, respectively.
Intersil started in Bangalore in 2004. It acquired Qualcore in Hyderabad in 2007. Currently, there are 40 employees with Ramanujam Thodur as MD. Intersil India has been designing state-of-the-art high performance analog VLSI chips, defining product development process, and collaborating with the FAE/sales teams to serve the India market.
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