Melexis CEO: Strong alone: Page 2 of 3

November 11, 2016 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Melexis CEO: Strong alone
With sales of €400 million euros in 2015, Melexis is one of the smaller semiconductor vendors, but a nevertheless a rather successful one. At Electronica, EE Times Europe met Melexis CEO Francoise Chombar for a short interview.
to develop new technologies and products? Wouldn’t it make sense to look out for a financially potent partner? Chombar remained unimpressed: First, Melexis is a fabless company, which makes it much easier to shoulder R&D investments – “the capital intensity in the chip industry is more in the fab”, she answered, followed by a firm commitment to its own qualities. “We don’t need to get saved, we are strong”, she said. “We are focused on what we do. We research, invent, develop and design, but we don’t need to manufacture.”

 

Melexis’s success curve runs widely in parallel to the semiconductor demand in the automotive industry. And yes, she agreed, the demand is strong in the automotive market, with chips being responsible that cars are becoming safer, smarter, and with more stylish interiors. “But what drives technology most is the trend towards more sustainability. Actually, sustainability is the most important trend: Cleaner engines, electrification, and hybridization. See our latest product: A temperature sensor, a critical feature to make the engine run under optimum conditions.”

 

The autonomous car seems currently being the technology driver for the entire automotive industry. “Yes, there is a big hype about self-driving cars”, she agreed. Nevertheless, “the autonomous is a shifting target, it is not here yet.” At least, the road is clear: “It will be paved with ADAS which need more sensors, including Time-of-flight (ToF) sensors, for example. “Our ToF sensor is still the only one in series cars, and we know that the take rates are high”, Chombar said.

 

Melexis’ success in its markets makes her optimistic for the future. “Combining sensors, signal conditioning, making sensors smart is our expertise. The combination of different technologies leads to new applications. An example is Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS): They are combining the expertise to design low power and small form factor chips. We can design such features into many applications.”

 

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