Simona Almajan, NXP Romania: “The greatest challenge in the current market is the scarcity of highly specialised skills”
“The car is foreseen to become the most advanced and complex edge device. The infrastructure of the car is continuously evolving to support smarter and more connected, electrified and autonomous vehicles. The huge increase in number and complexity of ECUs, the need for increased wiring, the tremendous increase in lines of code, are all challenges that are addressed by the new car architecture,” Simona Almajan, Country Manager, NXP Semiconductors Romania told Automotive Today.
“The greatest challenge on the current market in Romania is the scarcity of the workforce when it comes to highly specialized skills. NXP Romania strategy to attract and retain people is formed by a mix of opportunities to work on innovative technologies, in an open, flexible, diverse, and transparent environment, combined with substantial compensation packages and benefits.”
How do you see the automotive industry transformation in the next years when it comes to technologies?
We live in an era of hyperconnectivity. By 2030, will be more than 75B smart connected devices which will transform the way we will interact, commute, consume, perform our daily activities. The car is foreseen to become the most advanced and complex edge device. The infrastructure of the car is continuously evolving to support smarter and more connected, electrified and autonomous vehicles. The huge increase in number and complexity of ECUs, the need for increased wiring, the tremendous increase in lines of code, are all challenges that are addressed by the new car architecture. From flat architecture of today, the trend goes towards logical restructuring into Domains (via Domain Controllers with a Service Oriented Gateway at the centre) towards/in combination with the most advanced Zonal Architectures which implies a physical restructuring into Zones (via Zonal Gateways at the car corners and a central brain). The Zonal Controllers will enable physical simplification, with the opportunity to re-organize the vehicle electronics towards modularity and scalability, while reducing wiring harness weight & cost.
With this, the vehicle data will be moved and shared in a safe, secure and reliable way, will help carmakers bring updates and new features to vehicles faster.
Software Defined Vehicles come into play. Are vehicles in which increased functionalities are enabled via software. The cars are being updated like a mobile phone (via Over the Air Update features), as result, the value of the cars is being kept over the years.
What are the business objectives of NXP Romania for 2022?
Software is at the heart of NXP Romania products. At NXP Romania, together with our talented employees, we accelerate breakthroughs that help to advance the world. We build solutions—not just products—that enhance the capabilities of people, organizations and the world at large.
Our automotive strategy is perfectly aligned and committed to automotive trends with the current product portfolio which address all domains. We have in our roadmap software solutions for ADAS Radar, Infotainment, Connectivity and Networking, Electrification. The software portfolio expands from drivers, operating systems and middleware towards integrated platforms like GoldVIP.
Growth is a key topic and remains a site priority at NXP Romania. We plan to grow with approximately 150 employees in 2022. Innovation is another focus area where we will continue to invest as part of our IP Creation, Long Term Innovation and Workbench Innovation Programs. Last, but especially important is the wellbeing of our people, our greatest asset. We will continue the work life balance and career development programs.
What are your most important ongoing technology projects, how would you describe the evolution of NXP Romania in 2022 so far?
I will mention only few big achievements from the last months. NXP has launched the 4D Imaging Radar, which extends radar’s ability beyond detecting bulky objects to “seeing” a vehicle’s environment through fine resolution point clouds that enhance environmental mapping and scene understanding. The software that enables this device is developed by NXP Romania. Recently, we have launched the GoldVIP platform, developed exclusively in our site. GoldVIP provides a reference software integration platform for vehicle network processing applications like service-oriented gateways. It streamlines S32G hardware evaluation and accelerates software development with ease-of-use, hardware abstraction, software pre-integration and visualization. GoldVIP provides several out-of-the-box demonstrations of key use cases that show the value of the S32G vehicle network processors and their key hardware and software capabilities that enable future software-centric and service-oriented vehicle architectures.
What to expect from NXP in terms of solutions for autonomous driving and mobility?
NXP S32 portfolio is uniquely positioned to serve domain, zonal and end nodes. We see significant growth opportunities in both Zonal Control and End Node processors with S32 product line. We plan to continue the technology innovation by delivering software solutions, supporting this product line and addressing all five domains: Connectivity, ADAS and Automated Driving, Powertrain & Vehicle Dynamics, Body & Comfort and Infotainment.
What are the latest technological innovations that will become mainstream in the next years?
All automotive areas have innovation potential, to mention few here like virtualization, radar algorithms, low latency communication, AI/ML. Switching to lower technology nodes will drive many more innovations in the next years. We are committed to keeping our customers ahead of the competition and helping them introduce breakthrough technologies.
As customer demand for software enablement continues to grow, the team in Bucharest is instrumental not only in maintaining NXP’s industry leadership in software enablement, but also in stretching the boundaries of innovation.
What is your company strategy in terms of recruitment and retaining/ attracting talents? What are the challenges?
The greatest challenge on the current market in Romania is the scarcity of the workforce when it comes to highly specialized skills. NXP Romania strategy to attract and retain people is formed by a mix of opportunities to work on innovative technologies, in an open, flexible, diverse and transparent environment, combined with substantial compensation packages and benefits.
Our greatest asset is our people, a diverse and talented group of employees who take pride in their work and seize opportunities for excellence. Employees advancement in career path is a priority for us. We encourage global collaboration and mentorship to advance their career and boost their personal development.
Learning and development of our teams is a top priority for NXP Romania. Our employees benefit from knowledge enhancement, training programs, internal domain specific “schools” (e. g. school of architects, safety school, security school), we organize paid internship programs and competitions. Our compensation and benefits programs are ahead of the market (e.g. restricted stock unit plans, ESPP (Employee Stock Purchase Plan), CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) Program, Employees Engagement Survey, Site Improvement Program, full list below) and designed to attract the best talent and empower our employees to perform to their full potential.
In addition, we embrace an inclusive culture comprised of talented individuals from diverse backgrounds, a transparent culture fostering honesty, integrity and open feedback.
What is NXP Romania’s approach in the current geopolitical context?
NXP Romania colleagues have been moved by the immense tragedy, therefore, we have all contributed to humanitarian relief efforts for the refugees fleeing the conflict.
We have been at the forefront of NXP’s relief efforts since the crisis erupted, and team members continue to rally to the aid of the refugees by providing goods, shelter, support, and the much-needed funds.