Under the Hood: How MediaTek stays ahead of the competition curve

“MediaTek is working on technology upgrades like 5G modem technology, WiFi-6, Edge AI capability, and 8K capability.”

The semiconductor industry has gone through many challenges due to social distancing caused by Covid-19. The major issue faced by the global manufacturing sectors was the disruption in the supply chains due to worldwide lockdowns. The incident led to a radical shortage of devices and caused stock availability issues, as the demand for devices boomed due to pandemic and work from home. Clashes with China at the border only fuelled the supply chain disruptions.

In an exclusive interaction with WireX magazine, MediaTek India’s Managing Director, Anku Jain highlighted the various steps the government of India is undertaking to counter the tough barriers, MediaTek’s current business model, and the current scenario of the semiconductor industry in the unlock phase.

  1. What are the various impediments the semiconductor industry witnessed in India and globally during the lockdown and what is the current situation in the unlock phase?
    With social distancing, online education and work systems took a leap. Every child was being home-schooled and people from various industries were working from home, which led to a huge demand for smart devices. MediaTek has been well-positioned to cater to this growing demand and we are now powering nearly 2 billion connected devices every year, globally.As the country is looking forward to resuming manufacturing activities, enterprises are focusing on implementing contingency plans to manage disruptions, in the near term. The pandemic has made us rethink and remodel industrial paradigms, creating space for semiconductor-based businesses. Suppliers must now collaborate and establish agile supply networks for a better, resilient future.
  2. What are the various steps the Indian government is undertaking to counter the new challenges that have emerged this year? Are you looking for anything specific from the government?
    This year has made the technology manufacturing ecosystem realize the importance of setting up responsive supply chains which are not restricted to any specific geographical boundaries. As mentioned earlier, our business has escalated in 2020 and besides, the Indian government has taken several efforts to promote ‘Make in India’ and ‘Digital India’, ensuring the country is a suitable ecosystem for technology companies.Furthermore, the government has taken three major steps to empower India on the semiconductor front, including the Electronics Manufacturing Clusters (EMC) 2.0, Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme, and Scheme for Promotion of Manufacturing of Electronics Components and Semiconductors (SPECS). These schemes focus on supporting electronics manufacturing in the country by further expanding and incrementing it at domestic value addition. We as a company look forward to a positive conclusion from such schemes and we are prepared to support the Indian market in all possible ways.
  3. What is your current business model and how much it has changed over the years?
    MediaTek powers smart devices including mobile phones, home entertainment, connectivity, IoT products, smart TVs, voice assistant devices (VADs), android tablets, set-top boxes as well as optical and Blu-ray DVD players.Our USP lies in the fact that we are the only semiconductor company catering to such diverse product categories. We are focused on technology democratization and enabling customers to face the new normal productively and optimally. Another characteristic that makes MediaTek products unique is that we are pushing technology boundaries continuously, across segments. For instance, MediaTek and Samsung introduced the world’s first 8K QLED TV equipped with MediaTek’s custom Wi-Fi 6 chipset and the flagship TV was the only 8K TV, worldwide, which offered support for Wi-Fi 6
    connectivity.MediaTek has also been a frontrunner in the 5G domain, and we unveiled our 5G modem in 2019 itself. MediaTek was the first chipset company in the world, to launch an integrated 5G SoC, and, since then, we have been enhancing the technology and consistently announcing newer and more advanced chips, under our Dimensity 5G SoC family.
    Our first 5G chip, Dimensity 1000 SoC has the world’s most advanced 5G SoC architecture. The chip is packed with world’s firsts and comes at a time when the smartphone world is gearing up for a giant 5G push. Recently, we also unveiled MediaTek Dimensity 1000+ and MediaTek Dimensity 800U chips. Our MediaTek Dimensity SoC series is aimed at ensuring end-consumers are prepared for the transformative technology which will be powered by 5G connectivity.
  4. What is your current market share and how much you are expecting to have in the coming FY?
    As a market, India’s large population and demographic diversity ensure that the country is one of the major consumers in the world. MediaTek is positive in its outlook for the coming years, given the strong focus on R&D and innovative technology as well as our diversified portfolio. We believe in technology, innovation and leadership with a strong focus on R&D globally.At present, we are working on technology upgrades like 5G modem technology, WiFi-6, Edge AI capability, and 8K capability. We offer customers high quality, highly reliable, and trustworthy deliveries and, with such strong fundamentals, we have full confidence that we will continue delivering value to customers and have good years in 2021 and beyond. We also expect continued demand from the work from home economy.Talking about smartphone SoCs in 2021, we believe that most chips will feature 5G
    capabilities and AI enhancements for premium user experiences. As the consumption of data is increasing at a tremendous rate, there is a major requirement for faster and better connectivity. According to a recent IBEF report, total internet users in India are likely to double to 829 million by 2021, and overall IP traffic is seen growing four-fold at a CAGR of 30%, by next year. We have come a long way from 2G services in 1995 to pervasive 4G in the present and are looking forward to 5G transformations in 2021.
  5. Currently, how many R&D centres do you have in India? Do you have any plans to expand them?
    At MediaTek, we have consistently strived to support the ‘Make in India’ and ‘Design in India’ initiative, and we have two major facilities in India – one situated in Noida and the other is in Bengaluru. Several smartphone manufacturers of India have benefited from our assistance in developing feature-rich handsets for the Indian market. Our Indian R&D centres are working in collaboration with global R&D facilities and are designing high technology solutions combining hardware, software, and services to offer an unrivalled cross-platform experience to consumers.These initiatives are expected to help India’s economy to conquer the negative impacts of the lockdown and we are hopeful that it will help India to grow towards becoming a digital economy in the coming year.Going ahead, we are keen to expand our R&D capabilities and enable the ’Make in India’ and ‘Design in India’ narratives. We are collaborating with indigenous device makers to create smart solutions in India and enable the smart devices ecosystem.
  6. What is MediaTek’s biggest differentiating aspect that helps you stay ahead of the competition curve?
    At MediaTek, the technology is built with keeping humans in mind to enhance and enrich life. We have always believed that technology has to be great and it should be accessible to everyone. We make sure that our chipsets share core technologies across mobile, home and automotive so that we could benefit every market segment from our intellectual property.MediaTek has been known for its advanced multimedia, AI and expertise in delivering the most power possible – when and where needed. Plus our chipsets are optimized to run cool and super power-efficient to extend battery life. And we believe that is where we stand out proud and stay ahead in the segment.
  7. Kindly describe your roadmap and what’s in store for you in the coming year?
    We believe 5G will play a major role in the coming years and we need to be fully prepared to experience it and the possibilities that it will enable. We are expecting 500 million (chip) units to be shipped in 2021.At present, we are working on technology upgrades like 5G modem technology, WiFi-6, Edge AI capability, and 8K capability. Talking about our MediaTek Dimensity 5G series, the chips provide consumers seamless 5G and gaming capabilities, and are also extremely energy efficient, with superior performance capabilities & 7nm fabrication.

    We offer customers high quality, highly reliable, and trustworthy deliveries and, with such strong fundamentals, we have full confidence that we will continue delivering value to customers and have good years in 2021 and beyond. We also expect continued demand from the work from home economy.

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