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Semiconductor Memory Market to Have a Promising Future Ahead

semiconductor

Semiconductor Memory Market to Have a Promising Future Ahead

The semiconductor memory market will witness considerable expansion driven by the higher adoption of memory and storage components in moveable medical devices and healthcare equipment. These intelligent point-of-care devices include glucose, heart rate, continuous temperature, and pulse oximeter monitors and are used to store real-time diagnostic data, which can be later easily derived from the semiconductor memory. This information not only assists in analyzing the disease source but also renders early treatment and diagnosis of the targeted diseases.

On this note, it has been reported that the global semiconductor memory market size will reach over USD 180 billion in annual remuneration by 2027.

Below are the key trends likely to influence the industry expansion

Rising preference for MRAM semiconductor memories

Magneto-resistive Random-access Memory (MRAM) semiconductor memory industry is pegged to see a CAGR of nearly 15% in the analysis timeframe. This is mainly ascribing to the non-volatility, low power consumption, higher durability, faster read/write cycles, and enhanced data storage capacities for extended durations of the MRAM devices. This has pushed leading business participants to come up with MRAM chipsets for use in consumer electronics applications. To quote an instance, Samsung Electronics, in March 2019, launched the eMRAM, deployed with 28FDS process technology to offer higher performance and endurance in applications of embedded systems.

Expanding industrial application scope

Demand for semiconductor memories in industrial applications accounted for around 10% of the overall market share in 2020. This is owing to the incessant requirement for semiconductor memory chipsets across numerous industrial components. The rise in the number of smart factories in South Korea, Germany, China, and the U.S. has bolstered the adoption of IIoT devices, robotics, and automation equipment. According to the Ministry of SMEs and Startups, the number of registered smart factories in Korea reached 19,799 in 2020. This penetration will add a positive edge to the intake of semiconductor memory solutions in the industrial sector.

Europe to emerge as a key producer

The semiconductor memory industry share in Europe is poised to expand at a 5% CAGR up to 2027 driven by the increased automotive production and the prominent presence of leading automotive OEMs in the region. The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association estimated that Europe produced close to 15.8 million passenger vehicles in FY2019, accounting for nearly 21% of the total passenger vehicle production in the world.

Furthermore, semiconductor memories are widely integrated with in-vehicle communications, instrument clusters, navigation systems, telematics, among several other automotive electronics. This has paved the path for advanced automotive safety systems, including self-driving cars in the region.

Competitive business initiatives

Suppliers of different semiconductor memory types are working towards inorganic marketing strategies, like mergers and acquisitions to gain competitive advantages. For instance, SK Hynix, Inc., in October 2020, struck an acquisition deal with Intel Corporation to obtain its NAND memory and storage business for USD 9 billion. This acquisition is inclusive of Intel’s NAND component and wafer business as well as the Dalian NAND memory production facility from NAND SSD business Intel, which is in China.

Impact of COVID-19 crisis

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic tremendously affected the growth of the semiconductor memory market particularly in the first two quarters of 2020 owing to the imposition of severe nationwide lockdowns by several governments. This made way for supply chain disruptions as well as international trade barriers with regard to raw materials and components. However, the emergence of the work-from-home policies supported the demand for semiconductor memories amidst the pandemic given the growing sales of consumer electronic devices, like tablets, laptops, and smartphones.

Rising advancements in medical science and equipment have given rise to multiple opportunities for semiconductor memory manufacturers in integrating AI and IoT technologies. There is also an escalating need for telematics, in-vehicle infotainment systems, instrument clusters, and ADAS solutions in advanced automotive and connected cars. The increasing developments in Flash memory, such as 3D NAND Flash drives to enhance the transmission speed while reducing latency will further complement the industry expansion.

quantum computing

Quantum Computing Advantage: Today and Tomorrow

To date, the power of computing has enabled a remote economy, remote healthcare, remote collaboration, remote education, secure and contactless transactions, and intelligence that surpasses the human mind. New quantum computing power will usher in a brand new era — providing massive rewards to the companies and countries leading in the space, leaving laggards in the dustbin of history.

Paving a New Road Ahead

We didn’t need MIT to name quantum computing a breakout technology back in 2017 and again in 2020 to know quantum computing is paving a new road ahead. Recently, Google solved a problem in just over three minutes with a quantum computer that would have taken a supercomputer longer than 10,000 years to solve. While excellent news, not many understand what a quantum computer does, and many investors don’t know what quantum computing means for their portfolio. Still, the quantum computing opportunity has never been more relevant than it is today.

In the last few years, quantum computing has been making traction, with many companies building systems that aren’t powerful enough for most real-world use cases yet, but still, show promise. Tomer Diari, an investor from Bessemer Venture Partners, told TechCrunch, “Quantum computing will drive a paradigm shift in high-performance computers as we continue pushing the boundaries of science deeper into the realms of science fiction.”

The Leader in New Tech

In last year alone, several breakthroughs from research, venture-backed companies, and the tech industry have unlocked the challenges in scientific discovery. This has moved quantum computing from science fiction to reality and armed it to solve significant world problems.

Companies like Atom Computing leveraging neutral atoms for wireless qubit control, Honeywell’s trapped ions approach, and Google’s superconducting metals, have all seen first-time results, setting the stage for the first commercial generation of quantum computers.

At just 40-80 error-corrected qubit range, these systems could deliver capabilities that surpass classical computers, which will, in turn, speed up the ability to perform better in areas like thermodynamic predictions, chemical reactions, resource optimizations, and financial predictions. Companies like Microsoft, IBM, and Intel, and Google are further ahead than anyone else has been to unlock the quantum computing scope. As many technologies and ecosystem breakthroughs begin to converge, the next year will be a decisive moment.

Investors Are Spending

Recently, Quantum computing startup Rigetti Computing raised US$79 million in a Series C funding round, which was led by Bessemer Venture Partners and intended to advance its efforts in making quantum computing commercially viable, according to Business Times. EDBI, Singapore’s Economic Development Board, Franklin Templeton, Alumni Ventures Group, DCVC, Morpheus Ventures, and Northgate Capital, also participated in the round.

“This round of financing brings us one step closer to delivering quantum advantage to the market,” said Chad Rigetti, founder and CEO of Rigetti, a company that builds and delivers integrated quantum systems over the cloud and develops software solutions optimized for hybrid quantum-classical computing. Hybrid models like this one leverage quantum and classical computations – a more practical quantum computing approach.

Controversy

In a piece published in Science, researchers in China used quantum mechanics to perform computations in minutes. This would have taken billions of years using conventional machines. The research, which used photonic quantum computers, shows what claims to be the very first definitive demonstration using a “quantum advantage” to solving a problem that would have been impossible with classical computers.

However, as mentioned above, last year, Google built a quantum computer that they said achieved “quantum supremacy” and performed computations in minutes that would have taken the most powerful supercomputers tens of thousands of years. Google’s quantum computer was programmable. Google’s claim has been contested throughout the quantum computing field and many argued that a classical supercomputer could have performed the computations faster with a better algorithm. This back-and-forth and the fact that the area can’t agree on whether to call these achievements “quantum advantage” or “quantum supremacy” shows quantum computing is still a developing technology.

Looking Ahead

A quantum computer comprises qubits that can store an infinite number of values while still providing a single measure. Still, a regular computer can only store one value in one register, according to Forbes. Like A.I., the quantum world is entirely built on probabilities, which has led us to be engulfed in fascination with the possibilities and chances on the horizon. Both the hardware and algorithms have a long way to go until they grace our level of environments. It’s not an unattainable innovation, though – it’s reachable enough to learn and research for now.

Recent signs show that the lab’s progress is starting to transfer into commercial products, specifically in cloud computing. Xanadu announced a partnership with AWS to bring its open-source quantum software library PennyLane to the cloud computing giant. Additionally, IBM reached one of the most accepted general quantum computing performance measures on one of its systems.

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Louis Lehot is a partner and business lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP, based in the firm’s Silicon Valley, San Francisco and Los Angeles offices, where he is a member of the Private Equity & Venture Capital,  M&A and Transactions Practices and the Technology, Health Care, and Energy Industry Teams. Louis focuses his practice on advising entrepreneurs and their management teams, investors and financial advisors at all stages of growth, from the garage to global. Louis especially enjoys being able to help his clients achieve hyper-growth, go public and to successfully obtain optimal liquidity events. Prior to joining Foley, Louis was the founder of a Silicon Valley boutique law firm called L2 Counsel.

nanowires

Robust Optical Solar Demand to Outline Silver Nanowires Market Trends

The global silver nanowires market has witnessed considerable traction over the years due to the demand for the product from the vast healthcare sector, on account of its anti-microbial properties. These characteristics may be attributed to its strong optical transmittance and conductivity, which will magnify the use of the product in medical applications such as imaging.

Improvement in disposable income among people over the years and the need for advanced products has supported advancements in the global electronics industry. There is a surging end-user preference towards silver nanowire-based transparent conductive electrodes for the next-gen semiconductor equipment, due to the low cost of manufacturing and superior flexibility.

In electronics, the product is used due to superior efficiency in absorbing and scattering light that is characterized through various microscopic measures like transmission electron, scanning electron, and atomic force. Growing demand for micro integrated electronic systems is likely to drive the demand for metal nanowires owing to the optical properties of silver-based nanowires. Enhanced features of silver materials have led to higher optical flexibility and transparency which may be used in the production of both, optoelectronic and electronic devices.

As per reports, the global silver nanowires market is expected to surpass USD 1.5 billion in total annual remuneration through 2025. Germany has witnessed notable demand over the years from medical imaging applications. These products have low toxicity and anti-bacterial characteristics that may be used in the form of ions and nanoparticles in medical imaging.

There is a growing market for neurology, oncology, cardiology, gynecology, and gastroenterology due to the increasing cases of chronic illnesses and the use of medical imaging. Escalating increase in carbon dioxide levels has urged governments globally to adopt sustainable measures to protect the environment. The adoption of sustainable sources of energy such as solar power has witnessed popularity over the years.

China’s silver nanowires industry share from solar applications is anticipated to account for nearly 30% of the global value. This is due to the high aspect ratio and conductive properties of the product that may be used in transparent and non-transparent applications including conductive inks, solar displays, and pastes. Increasing efforts undertaken by the authorities in China, such as the goal of reaching 1,300 GW of solar capacity, will favor the deployment of optical solar materials.

Silver-based nanowires are extensively used in various products like biological sensors and photovoltaics owing to different optical, thermal and electric properties coupled with an excellent reflection and absorption characteristics. These products may be dispersed in IPA, ethylene glycol, epoxy resin and water that surpasses its application range. The properties including superior conductivity and getting stabilized through a double layer of charge have complemented the use of silver nanowires in the optical industry.

Researchers across the globe are working towards improving the quality of the product due to the growing demand for the product along with the need to achieve a competitive edge. For example, the researchers at Nankai University in China have developed novel organic electrodes to be used for flexible photovoltaics solutions, devices that may be used to capture sunlight and convert it into electricity with the help of water processed silver nanowires.

Prominent silver nanowires companies include RAS AG, NanoTech Labs, C3Nano and Hefel Vigon, among various others.