Vijay Ullal    
Vijay Ullal
Group President, Consumer and Automotive Solutions

1. What are the top 3 innovative trends you see in semicon technology?

My take is necessarily biased by Maxim's analog business. I believe that sensors, 3D integration, and human interface algorithms implemented in silicon will transform our industry in ways that are difficult to imagine today.

2. What part does India play in the overall technology strategy and marketing strategy of Maxim?

Andia forms a critical part of our R&D strategy going forward. We would like our India Design Center to be our center of excellence for digital technologies at a system level which means both hardware and software capabilities need to be developed. In particular we are interested in algorithms for human interface applications.

3. What are the global trends in the semiconductor industry in 2011-12?

There are irreversible changes that are happening right now. We are moving from chips to system level solutions, from analog building blocks to highly integrated analog products, from the treadmill of Moore's law to a slowdown or perhaps end of lateral scaling which requires rethinking of our engine of innovation. All of these trends are riding on a supply chain that is becoming increasingly complex.

4. What would be the key market drivers in 2012?

Smartphones and Tablets/e-Readers are obvious. We could be surprised by a surge in the market for smart TVs and small cell wireless communication infrastructure. Human interface applications will transform all consumer gadgets but this is probably more a driver of the economy a couple of years out.

5. How do you see the Indian engineering education scenario? What do you think are its strengths?

I see great value in both the top graduates of the elite academic institutions as well as the tier 2 colleges. These institutions turn out engineers who are dedicated and focused. To get the maximum leverage of these bright, young minds, we need to create an environment that fosters and unlocks the natural creativity of these engineers. The Indian academic environment could do a better job of fostering such an environment.

6. How is the regulatory environment in India impacting the Indian semiconductor industry?

Infrastructure is pathetic. I made a serious attempt in early 2001 to set up a larger operation that included manufacturing but was scared away by the bureaucracy and lack of transparency. There needs to be a culture transplant in government. No commercial or non-profit organization can take on the challenge of improving infrastructure.

7. India is viewed as a gateway to other economies. How does your company plan to leverage the unique needs of India in the various market verticals?

This is an interesting question since I don't really view India as a gateway to other economies. I would like to understand more about why this view might be a valid one. At the end of the day, each economy has its own particular and local character. However, the Indian economy is one with enormous potential and its progress needs to be watched carefully.

About the author
Vijay Ullal
Group President, Consumer and Automotive Solutions

As Group President, Mr. Ullal is responsible for the definition, development, and marketing of products and solutions addressing the Consumer and Automotive end markets.

Mr. Ullal has been with Maxim since 1989 and became Group President in 2007. He has overseen the development of more than 80% of the Company's process technologies, and orchestrated the purchase and ramp-up of five wafer fabs. He holds several patents in mixed-signal process technology. His contributions have resulted in a rich portfolio of process technologies at very competitive costs and with a high degree of operational flexibility.

Since 2007, Mr. Ullal has played a key role in changing Maxim's organization, corporate strategies, and business processes to match the dynamic and demanding consumer market. In partnership with the sales organization, he established close relationships with top consumer companies around the world. He accelerated the development and acquisition of new product lines, and championed the use of innovative design tools, process and packaging technologies, and test methodologies. Mr. Ullal also initiated significant changes to the supply chain that established a culture of excellent customer service and satisfaction. These many changes have resulted in strong growth for the consumer product portfolio and revenue for the company.

Mr. Ullal is a founder of the Bay Area IITM alumni association. He has been active in charitable works for women in India. He holds a BSChemE degree from the Indian Institute of Technology at Madras, and an MSChemE degree from Drexel University.