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CEO Talk: Eli Geva

March 12, 2018, anysilicon

This CEO talk was held with Eli Geva,  CEO of Advanced Semiconductor Technology Ltd. (AST)

 

Eli Geva

 

Tell me a bit about your background? How did you first get started with AST?

 

I’ve started to work at AST as a young ASIC engineer back in 1991 and my first project was to design one of the ATARI Computer ASIC chip. I remember this as one of the best and most challenging period of my professional life.

Later on I’ve moved into sales and business, and was responsible for the ASIC operations.

In the last few years, after the founder and owner of the company retired, I’ve become the CEO of the company.

 

Tell me about AST ?

 

AST was founded back in 1986 by Mr. Gideon Amir who came back from US to establish the first ASIC design house in Israel. At that time AST was designing the first ASIC designs in Israel. It was a 3um Gate Array technology which now looks like an ancient history.

 

 

What problem did you see that needed to be fixed? What is your approach to solving that?

 

The main problem we encounter today is the huge amount of efforts spending on the RFQ process of an ASIC. ASICs today are very complex and in many cases customers RFQs are not well defined. This is causing a significant complexity to the quotation process. To solve this, we offer a feasibility study phase on which we work with the customer on a more definitive and comprehensive specification requirements. Although this study cost some money, it usually brings to a win-win situation where both parties are gaining during the RFQ process.

 

How was the role/offering of AST changed during the recent years?

 

Along the years AST had expended its activity around the ASIC business and today we have 3 main departments: ASIC & IP’s, EDA and ASSP.  When we started we could only support the ASIC design and today AST can support a complete Turnkey solution from an idea to a full production working system including Firmware and Software development.

 

 

Which market segment seems promising to you? And why?

 

The most active market for us today is the Crypto Currency market (Bitcoin, Litecoin, Monero etc.). AST is one of the leading suppliers today for this market and we were supplying the first high-end technology ASIC designs for several crypto currency markets.   Another very interesting market is the HPC (High Performance Computing), AI and machine learning, we are involved in some of the most projects. Other promising market is the Automotive. It’s a new evolving market with many new start-ups and a great innovation and AST has numerous solutions to support this market.

 

What is a typical customer for AST?

 

Since AST is covering the complete range of the hi-tech industry, there’s no specific typical customer. Our customers could be a newly founded start-up company on one hand, and a well established international company on the other.

 

Customers are focused on time-to-market, first-time-right, price, etc. Do you see a change in customer behavior in recent years? Where is the focus today and why?

 

Customers keep focus on time-to-market, first-time-right and price without jeopardizing quality. Today we see more focus on quality and in some cases quality and first-time-right even comes before price and time-to-market. I believe this is the outcome of new quality standards that customers are much more aware of.

 

What are the 3 top things you wish your customers would do better (or different)?

 

The most important issues for us is to play a fair game, to respond on time and to share as much information to help us improve. In some cases we receive a request from a customer and after we spent time on evaluations and quotations, we don’t even hear back from the customer. This is a very frustrating behavior and we expect our customers at least to tell us the actual status, even if it’s negative for us.

 

 

Are you currently hiring? What type of jobs?

 

No, we’re not currently hiring and we mostly use subcontractors and partners.

 

Where can one find more information?

 

We have a very good Website: www.ast.co.il where one can find more up-to-date information and news about AST.

 

 

What is the best moment in your day?

 

For me the best time of the day is when I arrive home to my family, relaxing from all the stress of the day and restoring energy for the next day.

 

How do you keep yourself energized and engaged during the day?

 

Resolving problems keep me energized and engaged during the day. Since usually I have a lot of those, it’s not really a problem for me to be energized and engaged…

 

 

What is your preferred lunch discussion topic?

 

I try not to talk about work during lunch time although I have to admit that it’s not always working… Usually we discuss the news and personal experiences.

 

How do you spend your time outside working hours?

 

My wife and I are having a great hobby of folk dance so most of the time I spend outside working hours is dedicated to this. It’s really great as it combines sport; fun and a quality time with my wife.

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