Interview: Laurent Monge, President of Teledyne e2v Semiconductors
After obtaining an MsC in electronic engineering from the Grenoble Institute of Technology, Laurent Monge spent 10 years with NXP Semiconductors in France and the United States as an RF engineer in the consumer and automotive markets.
Laurent joined Teledyne e2v in 2008 as engineering director, where he became involved with the space market. He then took different business positions before being appointed as general manager in 2013, which included site lead of Teledyne e2v Grenoble, France. Overall, Laurent has 17 years’ experience in the high-tech electronic industry, serving a wide variety of markets with a proven track record in transforming businesses for sustainable success and customer satisfaction.
Please tell us about your current role. What are your key focus areas and responsibilities?
My current role is president of Teledyne e2v Semiconductors. This position allows me to have all the key functions, ranging from sales to manufacturing, reporting to me, which is critical to be able to deliver swiftly on our strategic plan. My key focus is to grow our business by bringing innovative solutions to our customers.
What inspired you to join/start this company?
I found Teledyne e2v to be very inspiring when I looked at all the space programmes it had served, as well as the critical parts we enable within those missions. When working in such a business and environment, each and every employee knows why they’re here – and this applies to me as well.
What do you think sets your company apart from your competitors?
Teledyne e2v Semiconductors has a rather different profile compared to the traditional semiconductor players. The way we see our business is about bringing solutions to our customers, not just supplying components. As such, we support anything that can help our customers to resolve their challenges, including engineering services, hardware, firmware and manufacturing services if they want do design their own components. At the end of the day, our customers can have many touch points with the Teledyne e2v organisation to ensure they get the perfect solution.
What are the key opportunities and challenges your company faces at present?
The space market is currently experiencing a very fast pace of evolution, driven by several global megatrends. Just taking the example of the telecom satellite market, the payload capacity is increasing faster than the famous Moore’s Law, this shift being driven by the need for big data. This is really an opportunity for us as a semiconductors solutions provider, starting from the latest and greatest semiconductors consumer technologies and mapping them together with our customer to their mission profile. The challenge I foresee is the ever-narrowing market-time window for new technologies, hence the need to be absolutely on time to amortize our investments.
Are there any new technology developments that you are working on at the moment? Can you tell us about them?
We pursue two main paths in terms of technology developments; the first is our so-called Signal Processing Solutions, which helps our customers to design payloads. As well as benefiting from the best performances, they are capable of being software reconfigurable over their entire mission lifespan. As such, we provide analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog conversion solutions that can be put as close as possible to the antenna, to operate in the digital domain quicker to benefit from its easy software re-configurability. Our current development aims to convert simultaneously multiple antenna channels up to the K-band frequency band as well as perform some early signal digital processing to further maximize the data throughput and integrity.
The other one, labelled Digital Processing Solutions, brings the latest and most innovative commercial processors into payload designs to make them even smarter with on-flight intensive computing capabilities (for example, networking, scientific algorithm, image processing and so on). This is a matter of making the satellites more autonomous during their mission, as well as reducing the limit of data upstream and downstream. Our current developments aim to bring more multi-core processors to space as well as bringing more integration.
What would you say most excites you about your role?
What excites me the most about my position is ensuring we are as a business in constant transformation to meet our customers’ expectations. Also, I’m very proud of our contributions to the space quest; we’ve delivered to the biggest space agencies all over the world and have had devices in high-profile projects such as NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover, as well as in upcoming projects such as the Lightning Imager of EUMETSAT’s next-generation Meteosat geostationary meteorological satellites.
How do you think the industry will develop within the next five years? Can you tell us about the key trends emerging?
Looking at the five commonly agreed megatrends that are transforming our world, I don’t see one of them where space is not a key element of the solution. As such, speed of change will continuously accelerate.
Another big change I foresee is while in the past space users were mostly governments or large corporations, individuals benefit more and more from services coming from space. To a point where more and more people, or at least communities, would want to have their own spaceborne platforms. Something we could call the individualization of space, with obviously many underlying challenges!
What do you hope to achieve at the show this year, and what connections do you hope to make?
I hope to further understand and feel all the fantastic changes we experience. Also, as we are now part of Teledyne, I want to ensure our customers understand all the additional value it will bring to them on top of our pre-existing services and solutions.
Teledyne e2v will be exhibiting at Space Tech Expo Europe in stand K38.