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ADI exec sounds off on global engineering talent

Posted: 28 Sep 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Analog Devices? ADI? Samuel Fuller? engineering talent? Nicolas Mokhoff?

The engineering recruitment program of Analog Devices Inc. (ADI) at universities worldwide typically brings in about half of the company's new engineering hires from North America and half from Europe and Asia, according to Samuel H. Fuller, vice president of ADI R&D. But Fuller said ADI is increasingly focused on China and India, where local hiring has led the company to assign its full Sharc DSP development program to its Bangalore design center.

"We have a program in place where ADI fellows spend the summer together with new recruits, talking through the leading technical issues of the day," Fuller. "Eastern Europe has a better talent pool, but today our real growth is in India and China."

Last week, ADI appointed Reddy Penumalli to the new position of managing director of ADI India as a further step in the company's efforts to unify its two Indian centers, located in Bangalore and Hyderabad, into an integrated business.

"It makes a big difference to hand over the entire system design development [for a given line] into one geographical area," Fuller said. "Engineers have the incentive to be more productive on the projects they own when they can see the big picture and where their role is."

The company continues to scout talent for its successful design center in Limerick, Ireland, but is not aggressively recruiting in Eastern Europe or Russia. "We have some presence there, but we would rather concentrate our efforts in our current growth areas," Fuller said. He attributed the Limerick operation's success to an arrangement with Limerick University wherein ADI provided engineering instruction assistance in conjunction with a fab deal, signed 15 years ago, that included tax incentives.

Israel, meanwhile, "is a special case" in its region, said Fuller, noting that the company conducts software development in Tel-Aviv. In the United States, Fuller believes the industry's long-term strategy of growing university research via government funding has worked well but might be in jeopardy as the government continues to scale back its contributions. "That could retard the U.S. position vis--vis India and China," he said. The latest indications by market researcher Gartner are that China and India will become the epicenters for semiconductors by 2010.

"We really need to explore the implications of offshoring on U.S. engineering and [ensure] that our unique education and research systems, which are second to none in the world, stay that way," said Fuller.

- Nicolas Mokhoff
EE Times




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