Today we are pleased to have a talk with Milco Pratesi, co-owner, and CTO of Engicam.
The past two years represented perhaps the most complex period for the world of electronics at the supply chain level. What is the lesson learned here?
The pandemic situation has made evident a problem that has been known for a long time in our sector: the concentration of silicon in a single area of the World. While the turnover of the semiconductor sector from 1990 to today has increased almost tenfold to the current 400 billion dollars, the Asian production capacity has increased from 20% to 70% due to relocation actions undertaken over the years by American technology giants. By contrast, US and European chip production fell by nearly 80%... the rest is history!
How can we walk away from this?
Often good comes from evil... To reduce dependence on other countries, I believe that the only possible solution is investments. Recently, President Biden had included the chip crisis among the main issues to be addressed and highlighted the need for greater investment in domestic production. In the context of the USA recovery plan, 50 billion dollars have been dedicated to revitalizing the sector of semiconductors. Europe also seems to be moving in this direction. Intel is lobbying several states in the European Union to secure financial support for its investment project to build several new advanced chip manufacturing facilities. And similar strategies are coming from big players like ST Microelectronics in Italy, and Infineon in Germany.
How did Engicam approach this moment?
As anyone in the industry knows, all these translate into a strong scarcity of material available for production. Nowadays, having a lean and completely internal management structure has allowed us to take the risk of increasing our stocks to meet customer needs. It’s not so easy, but we are trying to minimize as much as we can the impact for customers.
Now let’s take a look at the future.
The focus for me has been, is, and will be investing in the continuous exponential technological evolution that derives from the expansion of mass-market products and systems for Artificial Intelligence, electric cars, connectivity, autonomous driving.
We are strengthening the workforce with different skills, to carry out research and development of new platforms. We are investing in the production part, to increase performance in terms of both volumes and quality... therefore, people, equipment, and software. In parallel, we will work to further tighten partnerships with silicon players from NXP, ST, Renesas to Intel for x86.
Last question. What would you say to those who would like to work in Engicam?
Our strength is really the team, people who have a passion for what they do, from production to software engineers, designers, etc. If you are a true technology enthusiast and you love to develop, Engicam should be your 'Toyland'.
Thank you Milco!
Thank you and cross my fingers for our future.