Cadence Design Systems (India) Pvt Ltd recently concluded its annual flagship user conference, CDNLive India 2016 in Bangalore, which brought together users and industry experts from semiconductor and electronics product, and design services companies. At this conference, Paul McLellan, Editor, Cadence Breakfast Bytes, interviewed Michal Siwinski, Vice President, Product Management at Cadence’s System and Verification Group (SVG). This interview was shared exclusively to Auto Tech Review, which we now bring to you.
The conversation covered the opportunities in India for electronic design automation (EDA), especially in relevance to the ‘Make in India’ initiative. The interview also covered the areas of application of solutions from Cadence in the automotive sector in India, while touching on topics like autonomous driving and the legalities associated with it.
Cadence is an EDA tools, IP, and design services provider that helps integrate device manufacturers (IDM), chip designers, as well as foundries that manufacture electronic chips. Customers use Cadence software, hardware, IP, and services to design and verify advanced semiconductors, consumer electronics, networking and telecommunications equipment, and computer systems. The company is headquartered in San Jose, US, with sales offices, design centres, and research facilities around the world.
The full transcript and video are given below:
Breakfast Bytes – Michal @CDNLive 2016
Paul McLellan: Hi, I’m Paul McLellan and I’m the Editor of Cadence Breakfast Bytes. We’re here at CDNLive 2016 in Bangalore and with me is Michal Siwinski, Vice President of Product Management at Cadence’s System and Verification Group (SVG).
Michal, what do you think are the opportunities in India for electronic design automation (EDA) in general?
Michal Siwinski: I think the opportunities are immense. We’ve already seen plenty of talent here that are responsible for a lot of the innovation that’s happening in a number of business verticals. For example, it is amazing to see new technologies being developed to improve the mobile infrastructure in order to support India’s growing mobile phone service demands. And I think, with the combination of talent and the explosion of growth in various verticals and EDA in itself being a thriving technology, the opportunities are only going to grow in India.
Paul McLellan: The Indian government has come out with a number of ‘Make in India’ initiatives and at Cadence, we too have a lot of ‘Made in India’ software ourselves, thanks to the two huge development centers we have here in India. How do you think these initiatives create an opportunity for us?
Michal Siwinski: I believe that the government’s ‘Make in India’ program is a brilliant and visionary one. And I think it’s going to potentially have the same impact as the investment that was made by the government back in the 1960s in the education sector, when it invested heavily in overhauling the education system which has eventually resulted in transforming the technology landscape in India and as we can now see, the government is reaping its benefits. So, I believe the same is going to happen again with the ‘Make in India’ initiatives, thanks to the combination of available engineering talent and efforts made by the government in improving the overall public infrastructure.
Paul McLellan: Mobiles make up for a big chunk of the overall semiconductor business. But the hot and happening area at the moment really seems to be the automotive industry, particularly with the evolution of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) technologies and autonomous vehicles. How do you think that’s going to work out in India?
Michal Siwinski: Well, I think India already has a lot of engineering talent that are working for companies dealing in automotive chips. And so, the question really is about how much can a fusion of that talent, infrastructure and the autonomous innovation in the automotive industry evolve to create that game-changing difference in this space. I see a lot of potential and I think that the combination of talent, technology and government investments could spur autonomous innovation, but only time will tell.
Paul McLellan: Do you think the concept of autonomous cars will unfold differently in India when compared with markets like the US or Germany?
Michal Siwinski: Well, I think we have to separate the development aspect of the concept from the implementation part of it. So from a development perspective, because it’s all about having the best engineers create those kind of cars, I think there are no huge gaps between India and these countries when it comes to innovation. However, in terms of actual deployment of cars with autonomous driving, I think it will be a lot easier to provide automotive automation for cars driving on the highways in US or other European countries given the quality of road infrastructure that exists there than trying to replicate the same technology in India. But at the same time, I think with the smart cities that the Indian government is investing in, this concept has the potential to spark some changes as far as building better roads are concerned.
Paul McLellan: What about liability in the autonomous vehicles space? Is it the semiconductor company, the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or the car company that will have to bear the liability?
Michal Siwinski: Well, I think given the legal nature of the topic, we’d better leave the final decision with the politicians and the lawyers to make. But personally, from previous experiences, I think that the end supplier of the end vehicle will probably be held the most accountable. Of course, there’ll be pressure to put some of the liability down to the Tier-1s, Tier-2s and their suppliers too. I think time will tell, but I would still expect that some of the liability will be on the end car manufacturer, which will really be no different than what it is already today.
Paul McLellan: Well, thank you very much for talking to me and enjoy the rest of CDNLive 2016.
Michal Siwinski: Thank you very much. I appreciate it.
(End of video)
Auto Tech Review takes the Eicher Polaris Multix for a quick spin, and speaks to Pankaj Dubey, CEO, Eicher Polaris, to understand his perspective on this 5-seater multi-utility vehicle.
Leading provider of precision instruments for measurement and analysis, Horiba of Japan, claims to have 80 % of the global market for instruments, with applications ranging from automotive R&D, process and environmental monitoring, in-vitro medical diagnostics, semiconductor manufacturing and metrology, to a broad range of scientific R&D and QC measurements. We caught up with Atsushi Horiba, Chairman, President & CEO of Horiba Ltd. Excerpts:
Mr Horiba, what are your expectations regarding the market development of automotive test systems worldwide?
Due to further development of the OEM’s product portfolios, introduction of more and more technology and the different emission regulations globally, combined with the development of zero emission vehicles and hybrid vehicles, gasoline engines, my expectations are positive. The tasks for OEM testing engineers are complex and, for saving cost and development time, it is highly necessary to minimise testing and down time for customers especially.
Could you specify your general expectations regarding the different global markets – Europe, Asia, and the Americas?
Europe, as the second largest market, is a key place for us because many global OEMs and a number of major competitors of Horiba are based here. Our latest product Mexa-One, launched in June, is very important for the European market due to its capabilities regarding improving testing efficiency. Compared to conventional systems, the new analyser achieves a 50 % reduction in analyser response times, and a 30 % reduction in calibration waiting times.The Asian region, especially China and India, is a strong growing market. I am very optimistic for China in the mid-term. Chinese OEMs will start to develop and market their own high-tech engines for export purposes. And for those engines, the OEMs need further testing capabilities. Our home country Japan has recently recovered from the earthquake disaster of 2011. Even if our marketshare in Japan is already very large, I am expecting further good business opportunities there too. A significant number of emission test systems have to be replaced – partly due to stringent regulations, which is another big chance for our new analyser.As it is investing a lot in the automotive industry, India plays a significant role and is a large and important market for Horiba. Some weeks ago, I travelled there and visited some key customers in India. In order to meet the demands of our local customers, we founded Horiba India Ltd in 2007. From one engineer originally, the company has around 100 employees only five years later. In this rapidly growing market, the number of engineers is limited. That means the organisations are competing for the best. For us, it is important that we can support our Indian team with the best service and technology.Regarding the Americas, we are confident to defend our very strong market position there. Nevertheless, we will give our competitors some chances, as competition is our motivation for further development. Horiba is following its clients. That is why we have strong R&D centres in America, Europe, and Japan. In the near future, we will establish one in Shanghai for China.
What is your vision for Horiba’s future?
The automotive business is shifting to energy efficient vehicles. The question is how can we support our clients with the best testing solutions for this purpose. In the future, I am expecting a marketshare for EVs of 20 % at maximum. The other engines will be diesel, gasoline or hybrid engines. And, as especially hybrids require large testing efforts, it is obvious that both engines; gasoline and electric, need to cooperate smoothly and comfortably. Horiba will face a strong growth rate in the future. Our well proven emission testing solutions will especially help to bring us a big advantage on the market. Our mechatronics systems business is showing strong growth rates too. We are continuing to invest in future testing technologies as, for us, continuity is the key.
Text: Roland Schedel
President of M&M’s Automotive & Farm Equipment Sectors, Dr Pawan Goenka had joined the Indian UV maker in 1993 as GM (R&D), after a 14-year stint at the General Motors R&D Centre in Detroit, US. A BS in Mechanical Engineering from IIT Kanpur and PhD from Cornell University, US, he is also a Graduate of Advanced Management Program from the Harvard Business School. Winner of several national and international awards, Dr Goenka has been presidents of SIAM, SAEINDIA and ARAI Governing Council in the past.
Dr Goenka, you call the MRV a temple of creativity and innovation. How do you define innovation within the group?
Innovation is often a misunderstood word. Different people look at innovation in different ways. Many think innovation leads to things that are out-of-this-world. We don’t look at it that way. Innovation has two ends to it – there could be orbit-shifting innovations that redefine the business and industry, and such innovations happen once in a long while. Innovation could also mean the small improvements over what we are doing, and these can happen several times in a day. Every organisation needs to have both forms of innovation. Many think of innovation only in terms of the first thought; we think on both terms.
The other misconception about innovation is that it is all about technology. For overall business, innovation will happen across various streams, including the launch of a product. At M&M, we look at all forms of innovation.
But even if you look at R&D, apart from technology it is very important to understand what the customer wants. And that, at times, is more difficult. Today, technology is very well understood. A not-so-large organisation can always go to a consultant, while a large organisation will have all the technology in-house. We are focussing quite a bit on innovative ways and processes to understand customer requirements, and our R&D people in TPDS and MRV will focus as much on understanding customer requirements, as on technology.
Innovation is also a collaborative process...
Of course; one misconception about innovation is also that it is random and ad hoc. We firmly believe that innovation is a process. If you define what innovation you want, and work towards it, it becomes a structured process. This is not to take away from innovation that happens through sudden bright idea. But those are not necessarily aligned to the businesses we have. So, we need to have structured innovation with an end-goal in mind. I’m not putting boundaries on innovation, because that could mean putting constraints. I’m just trying to be more pragmatic and put innovation in the context of business.
What is the thought behind the proposal to set up a centre for basic research outside India?
Let me talk about why we want to do basic research. Technology is always the strength. He, who owns technology, is powerful. From technology, products will flow; from products volumes will flow, and markets and profits will flow. Nobody is going to give technology without extracting more from you. Therefore, if you don’t have an independent technology base, and are relying on someone else to give you the next best thing and licence it, you’ll always be No 2. To be the top player, you need to develop your own technology. Frankly speaking, India is lagging in that aspect. Many countries, including China, are making good strides forward.
New technology development is a difficult task. It takes a lot of investment, human resources and patience. It’s difficult to incentivise new technology development by the industry in India. For a company of our size – today, the automotive and tractor business together is worth over Rs 45,000 crore – we need to invest in technology advancement. We could do some part of it here, but we also need to tap some expertise outside India to be ahead of the game. This is one of the reasons why we are looking at setting-up technology centres outside India.
Is there a dearth of quality human resources for basic research in India?
There is no lack of basic knowledge. But there is a lack of experience and expertise in very advanced technologies. Most of our engineers, researcher or technologists have not worked in class leading areas of the automotive business. So, we’ll always be behind the best. The pragmatic way of doing it is to have a mix of our own talent and tap available talent outside India. We can do that in India alone, but that’ll demand a lot of time.
You do have collaborations with the academia.
We do, but that is not very strong. I’m hoping that with the MRV, given the environment away from the daily pressure of production, we’ll be able to focus more on collaborations with the academia and other research associations we have. We have an amazing pool of R&D talent in India. Unfortunately, such talent has not been tapped by the auto industry.
Moving on to the future of mobility, do you think EVs are the right solution for the Indian market?
The convenient answer is yes, but with a lot of ‘ifs’. Everyone, including us, is investing in electric vehicle technology. A consumer will not compromise to buy EVs. All the concerns about environment and energy security are fine as a philosophical talk. But unless EVs are at par with diesel or petrol-run vehicles in all factors, we will not see a mass market for EVs. There are three main constraints in India today – (i) Cost: unfortunately, there has to be public funding coming in to support the EV industry till it becomes self-sufficient. The solution lies in the government stepping in, but it is still to be seen if it is willing to put in public fund into EVs; (ii) Range: the range covered by EVs is a technological constraint. Unless we use range extenders, which is very expensive, it is very difficult to get range of more than 120-130 km on a single charge; (iii) Infrastructure: I do believe charging infrastructure will come if the vehicles come on road.
EVs are costly mainly because of expensive battery technology, and unfortunately, nothing seems to be happening in India?
There is absolutely nothing happening in India, and that’s the reason I spoke earlier about the need to have R&D work in those areas.
What sort of upgrades can we expect on the Reva NXR vis-à-vis the Revai that’s available in the market?
The Reva NXR is a completely new full-size hatchback that can seat 4-5 people comfortably. The styling is attractive, and so is performance. Technology has moved up quite a bit since Revai was done, including lithium-ion batteries. Except the range limitation that we have, and the high cost, the new vehicle won’t be a compromise in any way.
What about other propulsion technologies like hydrogen or bio-fuel?
All of these have a future, but one has to prioritise. Within our group, we are working on bio-fuel and hydrogen, but as a country we must take a stand. If I was to suggest the government, we should focus on electric and hybrid vehicles. EVs are ultimate in terms of zero-emissions, noise reduction but they have issues with range and infrastructure need. Hybrids, on the other hand, are not ultimate in either emissions or energy security – they still need diesel or petrol and they aren’t non-polluting. Hybrids will be easily acceptable, as they have no problems with range or infrastructure. In 5-10 years from now, I see both these technologies becoming self-sufficient without requiring any subsidy or incentive from the government. I’d focus on these two technologies, but at M&M, we hedge our bets and make sure we work on all the other technologies so that, depending on government policies, we are prepared for the market.
What happened to the much-touted National Bio-fuel Mission?
I think the mission still exists, but there is divided opinion on that. One section believes production of bio-fuel would lead to a food crisis, which I believe is a bit of hype. Most of the bio-fuel production comes from wastelands. We haven’t spent enough time to have an independent view on this. From a manufacturers’ point of view, it’s not very difficult to do. Today, all our vehicles running on mHawk engines are suitable to run on 10 % bio-fuel. We have a fleet that runs on 100 % bio-fuel. So, if there is a clear directive from the government regarding bio-fuel, we can be ready in a very short time. We are not focussing on the technology beyond having our vehicles ready. We are not pushing for it, nor are we lobbying for it. The major effort we have today is towards electric and hybrids.
Is being a ‘diesel-only’ company disadvantageous in some manner?
It is disadvantageous only from the viewpoint of policy uncertainty, which is very unfortunate. Every year, in February, we go through this anxiety of what the government’s policy would be. And we can’t be deciding on our plans based on every year’s union budget. As an industry, we’ve been asking the government to decide once and for all, so there remains no uncertainty. If it was not for any major policy disruption, I think diesel is the right fuel for the vehicle segments we are in. Even if diesel fuel pricing became market based, the demand in the SUV and CV segment will primarily be diesel. We’re happy to remain a diesel player, unless there’s heavy taxation on the fuel.
Is passenger cars part of the Mahindra product ecosystem?
Not really. We have the Verito that is doing fairly well. The sub-four-metre Verito would be out in the market soon. Beyond that, we don’t have aggressive plans for the passenger cars market.
At the MRV inauguration, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam talked about his dream of a Mahindra vehicle that is run on bio-fuel and electric. Are you taking it seriously?
I’m not completely sure of what he implied by that. We have a pure electric vehicle, the NXR, which will be introduced soon. We have hybrid vehicles that will run on diesel and electric. Our diesel engines are compatible with 10 % bio-fuel. So, if bio-fuel becomes available and when we launch our hybrid vehicle, in a way it will run on bio-fuel and electric. We are nowhere close to 100 % bio-fuel. That will require a tremendous change in our direction. That is not even practical. What is practical though is to mandate 10 % bio-diesel, just like 10 % ethanol.
Text: Deepangshu Dev Sarmah
Photos: Mahindra & Mahindra