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CEO Talk: Richard Visee, SystematIC

April 25, 2019, anysilicon

This interview was held with Richard Visee, CEO of SystematIC.

 

 

Tell me about SystematIC Design?

 

We design and supply integrated chips (IC) customized to our clients’ need. We have a unique track record of innovations in analog heavy mixed signal IC designs (big A small D). Our focus is on Sensor Interfacing and Power conversion chips. The primary ways we support our customers are IC design and IC product development.

We founded SystematIC Design in 1998 and since then successfully grew to a world-class team of dedicated engineers. We are active in automotive, industrial and consumer electronics market. For many of our customers, Systematic is a trusted extension of their own product development teams.  Needless to say, we have a very high customer retention rate.

 

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

 

I was an energetic child. I liked to construct things with lego blocks; later in high school I found my passion in PCM (Physics-Chemistry-Maths) subjects from early years. Factoring in all these, I chose to study electronics in my undergrads; eventually ended up in micro-electronics with a masters and a post-graduate circuit design degree. On completion of study, I worked several years with a reputed commercial design firm with a focus on RF circuits.

 

On a personal level, I was always motivated to start or be part of my own business. I come from a family of entrepreneurs. So, in 1998, when an opportunity came to me to start an IC design company with talented young engineers, I happily went ahead. Intentionally discarding the RF we carved out a niche for ourselves in sensor interfaces and power. Certainly, our confidence built over years of design career and awareness of semiconductor world paid off.

 

Did any of the market consolidation (or acquisition) affected your business and how?

 

This indeed is a very exciting time for the entire semiconductor world. In the last 5 years, many of our customers and business acquaintances were part of acquisitions/mergers. It changed their priority and vision on the company level. The world changes but remains analog. Today, we see a lot of new applications of sensing technologies we covered over the years. For example, optical sensing techniques were used in CD players 15 years ago. Although CD players are no longer in demand, similar optical sensing techniques are prevalent in mobile phones for proximity sensing of the user as well as in automotive applications for contactless detection of objects. Our ability to adapt ourselves to new applications works in our advantage. Being a small independent company, we enjoy the liberty of setting short-term and long-term goals as per our understanding.

 

Which market segment seems promising to you?

 

We have been active in Automotive market since the first year of SystematIC, that is 20 years ago. Recently, I see a lot of companies direct their activities towards automotive applications recognizing the potential of the market. We also note these designs become more challenging with the increased importance of functional safety requirements. From design perspective we are aware of what to do and work towards a design flow that is fully compliant with quality and functional safety standards.

With the advent of IoT, we see a lot of relatively simple features are converted to smart, intelligent systems, this generally involves using sensors with digital control; in this we typically design the interface chip that is the gateway to the sensor. So, IoT is a very promising market segment for us.

And last but not least China, because of its ‘Made in china 2025’ plan, emerging as a promising territory.

 

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

 

We started as a pure IC design service provider. Over the years as we engaged with more and more small and medium sized OEMs we saw the need for an IC as well as the lack of essential knowledge or resources required to realize a successful IC product- knowhow of packaging, testing, qualification etc. Naturally, to help our customers we started to intermediate with foundries, test and assembly partners. It is then we decided to extend our service to full-chip development. Alongside the design service, today we actively develop and supply dedicated mixed-signal ASICs. These ‘ASIC supply’ business model enables customers to start-off the product development with a reduced initial investment and therefore significantly reduces risks. As a true partner, we gladly share risks as well as profits from a successful ASIC product.

At present, along with many IP functional blocks, we offer three mature IP cores (Magnetic Hall sensor, Proximity and ambiance light sensor, AC LED driver). We have applied years of research effort on these topics. These IP cores can be easily used to quickly develop application specific products for customers.

 

What is a typical customer for SystematIC?

 

Practically any company that intends to develop an analog, mixed-signal chip in CMOS, BiCMOS, BCD, HV-SOI process is potentially a customer for SystematIC. Any company that intends to achieve miniaturization of its electronics, or add features, improve performance of its existing ASIC can benefit from our services.

Technology wise our focus is on sensor and power applications, from battery supplied to integrated high voltage applications. Our customer portfolio consists of automotive manufacturers to medium size OEMs. We support development of ASICs compliant with ISO26262, ISO9001.

 

What are the 3 top things you wish your customers would do different?

 

I believe couple of our old customers still see us as pure design service company, whereas over the years our role evolved to a product development company; we are capable of taking care of the entire IC development flow. They should use it to their advantage.

 

We come across a lot of SMEs who are in real need of integration of their electronics but suffer from the misconception that low volume of products will not yield interesting ROI. Many a times we have proved them wrong. A successful valid business case can be presented even with low ASIC volume.

 

Last but not least, we have to remember the ASIC development cycle is long (from idea to silicon). We try to reduce the time and minimize the risk by offering the IP model. Still one must factor-in time while making an ASIC development plan.

 

What is your #1 advice for people who want to work for SystematIC?

 

SystematIC makes personal growth and development a priority. This manifest itself in several in-house training, language courses and company outings. I believe SystematIC’s growth is due to its excellent company culture. This is a flat and very approachable organization. The vibe feels like start-up. A methodical mind, strong base in electronics and team-player’s mindset will make best fit in SystematIC. We are continuously expanding our team. My advice would be to have look at our careers page (on website) and share with us your interest and resume.

 

 Are you currently hiring? What type of jobs?

 

Yes, we are actively hiring. We are looking for engineers with an analog, mixed-signal, digital circuit design background, preferably with mid-senior profile. They must be willing to join our teams based in Delft or Eindhoven in the Netherlands. To know more about the job openings click https://www.systemat-ic.com/company/careers/ or you may send us your resume to ‘contact@systematic.nl’.

 

Where can one find more information?

 

I welcome you to visit our website. To take a closer look in to our day to day life you may check out our LinkedIn page as well. If you have specific project related queries you may reach us via Anysilicon or can write to us at  contact@systematic.nl. In addition to this, in 2019 there will be multiple opportunities to meet our team on trade fairs and exhibitions. To know the dates, keep an eye on our LinkedIn page.

 

www.systemat-ic.com

www.linkedin.com/company/systematic-design

anysilicon.com/vendors/systematic-design/

 

 What is your preferred lunch discussion topic?

 

In general, during lunch we talk about everything but work. Sports; politics, weather, next vacation- I spend this time to connect with my colleagues. You may call it our daily dose of team building exercise.

 

How do you keep yourself energized outside work?

 

I like to run. Running refreshes my mind, helps me see things in perspective. To my advantage, I live very close to the sea. So, I run in the sand dunes (Silicon as well!) and along the shore. I regularly participate in semi-marathons. I would say, in this case exercising to increase endurance is my main goal.

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