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Solving problems better

Martin Cotter

It’s been a busy few months for Martin Cotter, SVP Worldwide Sales & Digital Marketing at Analog Devices. From electronica last year to the Consumer Electronics Show in January, he’s been engaging with partners and customers in a market that is changing rapidly.

"We now talk about sensing the entire world," explains Cotter. "Everything is being measured and improved upon and there has been an explosion in data. Whether that’s in automation, consumer applications or in the automotive space there is a requirement for higher performance and that is driving the need to take and interpret data securely. Our customers need data that is both reliable and trusted and without that they wont be able to achieve the higher impact outcomes they’re looking for."

Cotter talks about a future of higher outcomes and the development of ever-expanding use cases that are helping to influence sensing road maps.

"What I mean by that, for example, is safer vehicles and the provision of improved clinical outcomes, not just wellness. All this requires us to solve the bigger problems; getting insight from accurate data, so you can take the right actions."

Analog Devices is well positioned to benefit from this trend being, as Cotter describes it, the company that, "Starts with taking what is analogue information and providing a bridge to the digital world. We are in a postion to look at longer terms patterns and do something interesting with them."

Analog Devices is, according to Cotter, all about focusing on high end, high impact problems.

"We are looking at a wave of innovation at present in which the number of disruptive businesses impacting the market is growing rapidly. New ideas are being generated from many different places. As a business we are interacting with alot of start-ups, and silicon is getting much closer to the solution which means that we, as a business, are having to collaborate with more solution providers - not just start-ups but large OEMs as well.

"While the integration between the silicon and sensor means that we are seeing more collaboration that, in turn, has led us to expand our eco-system to address this.

"Like I said, innovation is coming from everywhere."

According to Cotter this wave of innovation is being driven by a significant increase in semiconductor content.

"This ‘Third Wave of ICT’ is a world in which everything is being instrumented, it’s way above the components level. Hardware is critical in delivering this but fewer of our customers have the necessary analogue skills required, so we have been working to strengthen our base capabilities to address this."

Earlier this month ADI made a strategic investment into UnitedSiC, a manufacturer of silicon carbide (SiC) power semiconductors.

At a time when wide bandgap power devices, and SiC in particular, are becoming more mainstream and cost effective, the inclusion of these devices was seen as helping to strengthen ADI’s portfolio of analogue power devices.

While this was about strengthening ADI’s capabilities, it has also made several outright acquisitions in the past few years.

"We have a long history of acquisition but it’s not about scale but rather about capability. While we’re seeing some positive results, it takes a lot of effort to integrate businesses and to do it properly."

Artificial Intelligence, edge computing, 5G, autonomous driving and Industry 4.0 are all part of a wave of extra smarter solutions, according to Cotter.

"These are the mega trends that are generating value and for ADI what’s so important is that these trends require mixed signal content and that’s a big deal. Crucially, as our abilities scale, we will be able to solve more problems in a better way."

Author
Neil Tyler

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