NXP to strengthen R&D for China's self-driving industry

Updated: 2016-10-12 14:06

By Liu Zheng(chinadaily.com.cn)

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NXP to strengthen R&D for China's self-driving industry

Rick Clemmer, president and CEO of NXP Semiconductors, delivers a keynote speech in September, 2016 during NXP FTF China held in Shenzhen, Guangdong province. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

After the merger of Freescale, NXP Semiconductors, the world's top chip maker for auto industry, recently organized its first NXP FTF tech forum in China, showcasing the latest tech breakthroughs in a variety of hotly discussed sectors, including autonomous vehicles, mobile payment security and internet of things.

Rick Clemmer, president and CEO of the industrial conglomerate, sat down with China Daily and expressed optimism about the country's innovative trend in the autonomous vehicles sector and the rapid rise in business potential.

What are the main differences between the FTF Shenzhen and the FTF Americas that was held in the US in May?

The event held in Austin, Texas, was successful and positive. I think the FTF Shenzhen brings more opportunities as the moving rate in China is more than the rest of the world.

Being able to bring the core technologies to our customers in China and work with them - actually we think they have a bolder vision that can capture the imagination more rapidly than our customers in the rest of the world.

The research and development of autonomous vehicles has become a hot topic across the industry. Some of the pioneers in China - both traditional auto makers and internet companies - have unveiled their blueprints to throw their hats into the field.

The entire industry is geared up to see "who can create the first driving cars that become new transport equipment across the road". It's a bit like the moon landing race that happened three or four decades ago, when the US and Soviet Union were competing to send the first person on the moon.

What's your view on the collaboration among NXP, Changan Automobile and Neusoft? What kind of role will NXP play in the partnership?

During the NXP FTF forum, NXP announced that it was collaborating with Changan Automobile and Neusoft to establish the China Auto Security Common Interests Group (CIG).

The group brings together a hardware-based industry cooperative organization for automotive security with domestic automotive and software partners in the global market.

CIG will adopt "NXP's 4+1 security framework", consisting of four security layers that lead to a highly secure vehicle network, as a core solution to establish industry-wide standards for automotive cyber security in China.

For us, it's about how to bring our technology to our strong partners so that we can deploy that rapidly. Coordinating in a fashion to be driving a solution, where we can bring the fundamental capabilities of basic software along with additional features from our customers, and stimulate solutions that can get to the marketplace much more rapidly than we can do otherwise.

NXP to strengthen R&D for China's self-driving industry

Rick Clemmer, president and CEO of NXP Semiconductors, delivers a keynote speech in September, 2016 during NXP FTF China held in Shenzhen, Guangdong province. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

How do you evaluate the characteristics of China market, given the global semiconductor industry is witnessing a downturn while the country's market is seeing high demand?

Several years ago, I said we want to be more Chinese than anything else because of the significant growth opportunities we see in China. So we want to be sure that we are strongly partnering with Chinese customers so that we can move forward more rapidly. Clearly, China has the fastest growth in the world, and we can support our customers in China by helping them actually utilize new technologies, beyond only dreaming about how the technologies can be implemented.

How do you see the technologies that Baidu uses in its self-driving vehicles?

Deployment of technologies associated with the autonomous driving in different levels are still in the early stage. I think Baidu has conceptually captured the opportunity, and we want to partner with the company.

The ability to take the input from the car and through the significant cloud computing, taking artificial intelligence as an example, is very exciting if we can take the learning and drag it down into implementation in the vehicles, which will become more than just cars.

If everything is hackable, what is the safest way to protect drivers' privacy?

As everything is hackable, what we want to do is to make it more and more narrow, so there's fewer and fewer chances of hacking by providing the fundamental security to be able to make the car safer.

The "4+1 layer security framework" introduced by the company, provides a holistic approach for securing the entire vehicle architecture, using a defense-in-depth strategy complemented by its secure car access products.

According to NXP, each layer has its own specific security challenges, affecting both hardware and software components and it addresses each layer individually to provide the right level of protection and countermeasures for the different elements of the architecture.

What is your view on innovation?

Innovation is about how we move forward and how we can take the best minds, the best information, the best technology and bring them forward.

What we were trying to do is to be sure to drive the leadership and be able to provide solutions for our customers and think beyond limits we have today, dream about the implementation of the technology, which makes our lives not only easier, simplier, more productive, but also safe by providing the security that be able to facilitate that.