Key to that strategy will be more energy efficient computers, from the smartphone to servers in the cloud.
"IBM's Watson used thousands of watts to create enough machine intelligence to win at Jeopardy against humans, but that is compared to the people whose brains used just 20 watts," Ullal said. "Fairchild wants to create more power efficient subsystems to reduce that vast waste of energy and still have a smart gadget."
The key is to look at projects from the application point of view. Every company has products, but according to Ullal the very good companies have a strategy that impinges on their products directly. For instance, today's smartphone uses just a few watts, but has the same power as a Cray supercomputer, which consumed over a thousand kilowatts in 1975. From that example we know it is possible to make what seems impossibly optimistic a reality, Ullal claims.
Ullal told EE Times:
Today many company's strategies are at 10,000 feet and the product is at 1000 feet, meaning they don't impinge on one another in a meaningful way. How do we plan to make things more power efficient and use cleaner energy? Instead of being the typical product company, we want to look at our projects from application viewpoint -- that means every day use strategy from our plan, not just talk about it once a year. We have to look at projects from the application perspective everyday, and to do that we have to know the customer so well that we can figure out what they want before they know they want it.
Energy efficiency and mobility applied directly from the application perspective should lead to cell phones that take progressively less time to recharge, a challenge Fairchild is taking on because it makes all the parts for subsystems that recharge phones faster.
"For instance, the iPhone takes about three hours to charge, but customer wants smartphones to charge faster," Ullal told EE Times. "Fairchild has everything we need for faster power charging -- we have all the building blocks to make recharging smart and fast."