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Press Releases
Global Ranking of Top 10 SSD Module Makers for 2020 Shows 15% YoY Drop in Annual Shipment, Says TrendForce

2021/10/25

Semiconductors

The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic led to severe delays in manufacturing and logistics In particular, governments worldwide began implementing border restrictions in 2Q20 to combat the ongoing health crisis, leading to a sudden decline in order volumes for channel-market SSDs, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations Annual shipment of SSDs to the channel (retail) market reached 1115 million units in 2020, a 15% YoY decrease In terms of market share by shipment, Kingston, ADATA, and Kimtigo once again occupied the top three spots, respectively Looking at the channel market for SSDs as a whole, NAND Flash suppliers (among which Samsung possessed the largest market share) accounted for around 35% of the total shipments in 2020, while SSD module makers accounted for the other 65% The top 10 module makers accounted for 71% of channel-market SSD shipments from all SSD module makers Taken together, these figures show that the market remained relatively oligopolistic in 2020 However, it should be noted that TrendForce’s ranking of SSD module makers for 2020 takes account of only products bound for the channel market and under brands owned by the module makers themselves; NAND Flash suppliers were therefore excluded from the top 10 ranking As the pandemic eliminated tier-2 and tier-3 suppliers at an increasingly rapid pace, the collective market share of the top 10 module makers continued to rise Kingston demonstrated the competitive advantage that it derived from having a global strategy while the pandemic took place The company saw its market share increase by 1% against market headwinds in 2020 and comfortably took the number one spot among the top 10 SSD module makers At the same time, Kingston sourced its SSD controller ICs from a diverse group of suppliers in order to avoid potential issues with SSD production due to insufficient foundry capacities By ensuring a stable supply of controller ICs, Kingston will likely raise its market share even further going forward On the other hand, ADATA had previously shifted the focus of its R&D and manufacturing operations to SSD products Not only did ADATA release high-end products ahead of most of its competitors, but it also raised its markets share thanks to the increased demand for its gaming products during the pandemic ADATA took the second spot on the top 10 list Kimtigo, ranked third on the list, shifted its focus to mid-range and high-end products due to their relatively high profitability Furthermore, Kimtigo successfully expanded its market share both overseas and online, in turn taking the number one position in China In light of China’s policies prioritizing domestic semiconductor production as well as Kimtigo’s ongoing efforts to cultivate a presence in tier-3 and tier-4 cities in China, the company will likely continue to increase its market share going forward Netac similarly possessed comprehensive sales networks in China and the overseas markets, in addition to having committed to long-term developments in online sales channels As the pandemic drove up online sales last year, Netac was able to leapfrog to fourth place in the rankings Likewise, Lexar saw a slight growth in its market share last year due to not only the comprehensive global sales network it had previously developed, but also its gradually maturing manufacturing operations and aftersales customer services The COVID-19 pandemic drove up orders for Teclast’s self-branded notebook computers and displays As a result, Teclast’s shipment of SSDs last year underwent an increase that in turn led to a corresponding increase in its market share As for Colorful and Galaxy, the two companies primarily focused on the gaming market Hence, the increase in demand for gaming consoles and high-end notebooks allowed Colorful and Galaxy to enjoy increased visibility in the SSD market Lenovo’s shipments fell slightly in 2020 because the other competing brands increased their efforts in developing the overseas markets As a result, its place in the ranking also dropped from 2019 As the ranking indicates, the competition among brands in the Chinese market remained very intense There is the possibility that the brands’ positions in the ranking will undergo more reshuffling for 2021 It should be pointed out that TrendForce has noted the participation of additional brands in the SSD module market in recent years One such brand is Gigabyte, which has registered remarkable performances Gigabyte grew its shipment of SSD products by more than 30% YoY in 2020 through leveraging its preexisting reputation in the motherboard and graphics card markets Although Gigabyte has yet to enter the top 10 list at the moment, it will likely do so within the coming years thanks to its comprehensive global sales network and the growing visibility of its SSD products Rise of YMTC strengthens China’s domestic NAND Flash production, and Chinese SSD manufacturers are gradually gaining a brand advantage As the trend of the localization of semiconductor manufacturing comes to the forefront of the Chinese memory market, YMTC is carrying out a massive capacity expansion plan In terms of layer technology, YMTC is steadily advancing to 128L and catching up to the major NAND Flash suppliers Among Chinese SSD brands, Biwin secured financial support from the China IC Industry Investment Fund (the Big Fund) this September; it is now expanding the production capacity of its plant in Huizhou Besides this, Biwin has also acquired sufficient product development capability to meet clients’ demand for customized products and services The company is therefore expected to experience a wave of growth in the future Turning to Taiwan-based SSD brands, Liteon’s shipments of branded SSDs have slowed down significantly after the company was fully incorporated into Kioxia in July 2020 Due to certain considerations pertaining to the allocation of internal resources, Kioxia will assign the Liteon SSD team to support the development of SSDs for PC OEMs In the future, Kioxia’s focus will not be on brand development As for other Taiwan-based SSD brands, they will unlikely return to the top 10 ranking because they have not been able to catch up to the brands based in Mainland China with respect to the economies of scale TrendForce believes that Taiwan-based brands will continue to be on the decline PCIe G4 SSDs become new main offerings, and module makers have adopted QLC solutions The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have contributed to a significant increase in the average memory density of SSDs this year With 512GB becoming the mainstream capacity size, the cost advantage of QLC will become increasingly recognizable Hence, module makers will be introducing QLC products into their SSD offerings In the aspect of interface technologies, the proportion of SATA in the retail SSD market has been declining over the years, and module makers are switching to PCIe for their new products TrendForce’s research finds that PCIe products accounted for almost 30% of retail SSDs shipped in 2020 With shipments of PCIe G4 SSDs expected to grow rapidly in the future, module makers will assign PCIe as the mainstream interface for new products Also, an increasing number of Chinese IC design houses are now involved in the development of SSD controller ICs This, in turn, has led to more PCIe G4 SSD controllers entering mass production As China pursues the localization of semiconductor manufacturing, module makers will be tested to develop suitable solutions that can maintain growth in the Chinese market For more information on reports and market data from TrendForce’s Department of Semiconductor Research, please click here, or email Ms Latte Chung from the Sales Department at lattechung@trendforcecom For additional insights from TrendForce analysts on the latest tech industry news, trends, and forecasts, please visit our blog at https://insidertrendforcecom/

Press Releases
NAND Flash Prices Projected to Enter Cyclical Downturn in 2022 Due to Modest Demand Growth and Competition for Higher-Layer NAND, Says TrendForce

2021/10/20

Semiconductors

Contract prices of NAND Flash products are expected to undergo a marginal drop of 0-5% QoQ in 4Q21 as demand slows, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations Hence, the current cyclical upturn in NAND Flash prices will have lasted for only two consecutive quarters Looking ahead, NAND Flash suppliers’ capacity expansion plans will be affected by the outlook on future trends and the supply of other non-memory components At the same time, attention will have to be paid to the demand projection At the moment, NAND Flash suppliers appear likely to downsize their capacity expansion activities for 2022, resulting in a 318% YoY increase in NAND Flash bit supply next year Annual bit demand, on the other hand, is projected to increase by 308% YoY With demand being outpaced by supply and competition intensifying among suppliers for higher-layer products, the NAND Flash market will likely experience a cyclical downturn in prices in 2022 YoY Growth of bit supply for 2022 is projected to reach 318% as competition for higher-layer NAND Flash remains fierce With demand surging for a significant part of this year, customers have accelerated their adoption of higher-layer NAND technologies Suppliers have also revised their production plans several times so as to raise output, reaching a YoY growth of nearly 40% in total NAND Flash bit supply in 2021 In light of the somewhat high base for comparison and the relatively weak demand outlook next year, TrendForce expects annual NAND Flash bit supply to increase by only about 318% YoY in 2022 NAND Flash bit demand will grow by just 308% due to high base for comparison and factors related to arrival of post-pandemic era The analysis of the demand side of the NAND Flash market finds that the shipment volumes of smartphones, notebook computers, and servers have been undergoing robust growths in 2021, resulting in a relatively high base period for comparison against next year’s figures Hence, substantial YoY increases in device production or shipment in 2022 will be difficult In addition, the procurement side still suffers from mismatched availability of components With NAND Flash supply being relatively healthy and device manufacturers carrying a growing NAND Flash inventory, NAND Flash procurement for the upcoming period will likely be limited TrendForce expects NAND Flash bit demand to increase by 308% YoY in 2022, which represents a slower growth compared with the increase in NAND Flash bit supply Regarding the smartphone market, the persistent shortage of components, including chipsets and driver ICs, is expected to exacerbate the decline in smartphone shipment during the traditional off-season of the first quarter As for the average storage capacity of handsets, one driver of growth is the iPhone series, which is adopting a 1TB solution for the first time with this year’s line-up (ie, iPhone 13 Pro/Pro Max) This will encourage brands in the Android camp to follow suit and have a 1TB solution featured in the future flagship models that are released in 2022, thus slightly increasing the shipment share of high-density solutions Furthermore, brands in the Android camp will be focusing on pushing models with 256GB or 512GB in response to Apple’s storage upgrade for this year’s iPhone lineup TrendForce forecasts that the NAND Flash bit demand related to smartphones will rise by around 285% YoY in 2022, which is noticeably lower than the growth rates that approached almost 30% for the years prior to 2021 Regarding the notebook market, orders for notebook computers will enter a period of downward correction in 2022 compared to the peak growth that took place in 2021 as increasingly widespread vaccinations lead to a gradual easing of border restrictions Although the workforce’s return to physical offices has now generated some upside demand for commercial notebooks, the demand for consumer notebooks and Chromebooks, which are highly contingent on the education sector, will undergo a sharp decline Taking these factors into account, TrendForce forecasts a modest 232% YoY growth in client SSD bit demand in 2022, which falls short of the growth in 2021 by a considerable margin Regarding the server market, CSPs’ continued procurement of servers in 2022 is expected to drive up annual server shipment by about 45% YoY In particular, the average storage capacity of enterprise SSDs is expected to experience a more significant growth next year compared to previous years due to the gradual release of new server CPU platforms with PCIe Gen 4 support, which features more PCIe lanes allocated to SSD data transfer These new CPUs will also come with substantial upgrades in terms of both core count and processing power Adoption of large-capacity enterprise SSDs enables servers equipped with such CPUs to achieve improved computing performance and in turn allows CSPs to cut down on the number of server nodes required, thereby optimizing the cost of data center build-out In terms of applications, computing demand from AI and big data will continue growing, and this growth will also contribute to the increase in the average storage capacity of enterprise SSDs next year In addition to the aforementioned developments, the release of Intel’s Sapphire Rapids platform, which supports PCIe Gen 5, will bring about a further bump in enterprise SSD data transfer speed, as well as average storage capacity, which is expected to increase by 335% YoY in 2022 Annual NAND Flash revenue is projected to increase by merely 7% YoY in 2022 while falling quotes offset growth in bit shipment NAND Flash ASPs have not shown significant downturns for two consecutive years since 2020 At the same time, as the COVID-19 pandemic drives up the demand for electronic products and cloud services, the overall growth in NAND Flash bit demand has been remarkable, resulting in an annual NAND Flash revenue growth of more than 20% YoY in both 2020 and 2021 Looking ahead to 2022, the YoY increase in NAND Flash bit demand will diminish due to the high base for comparison this year The NAND Flash market is projected to enter a period of price downturn, with an over 18% decline in NAND Flash ASP While such a decline offsets the rise in bit shipment, annual NAND Flash revenue will likely increase by merely 7% in 2022, the lowest YoY growth in three years For more information on reports and market data from TrendForce’s Department of Semiconductor Research, please click here, or email Ms Latte Chung from the Sales Department at lattechung@trendforcecom For additional insights from TrendForce analysts on the latest tech industry news, trends, and forecasts, please visit our blog at https://insidertrendforcecom/

Press Releases
TrendForce:2021 The Third-Generation Semiconductor Power Application Market Report

2021/10/01

Semiconductors

1 Introduction Definition of third-generation semiconductors Power semiconductor development trend Brief introduction of the third-generation semiconductor power industry chain Third-generation semiconductor power application scenarios China's third-generation semiconductor investment 2 SiC power- semiconductor industry chain analysis Global SiC industry pattern Supply chain situation Equipment—Single crystal growth / Epitaxy / Chip manufacturing / Chinese supplier progress Key raw material—High purity Carbon powder SiC Substrate—Introduction / Company / Competitive landscape / Mass production process / Technical parameter comparison / Wafer size & price trends / Main preparation technology / China production line layout / China production capacity SiC Epitaxy—Competitive landscape / Main preparation technology SiC Power discrete & module—Introduction / Development History / Device structure / SBD / MOSFET / Full-SiC Module / Company / Competitive landscape / Patent landscape / Price / Market scale / China production line layout Foundry 3 GaN power- semiconductor industry chain analysis Global GaN industry pattern Supply chain situation Equipment—Epitaxy Key raw material—Gallium metal Si Substrate—Competitive landscape GaN Epitaxy—Introduction / Competitive landscape / Company business comparison / Main preparation technology GaN power device—Introduction / Development History / Device structure / HEMT / Company / Competitive landscape / Patent landscape / Supply chain / Price / Market scale / China production line layout Foundry 4 Analysis of third-generation semiconductor power application NEV—Core application scenarios of third-generation semiconductors / Supply chain / Main inverter / OBC / DC-DC converter / Lidar / Layout of Chinese SiC company / Layout of Chinese CarMaker / Progress in Adoption of SiC / Progress in Adoption of GaN / SiC/GaN penetration rate estimation / Power SiC market scale / Power GaN market scale Consumer—Core application scenarios of GaN / Supply chain / Development trend / Technical route / Market Distribution / Competitive landscape / GaN penetration rate estimation / Power GaN market scale PV & Energy storage—Introduction / Supply chain / SiC penetration rate estimation / Power SiC market scale 5 Analysis of China supply-demand relationship in the third-generation semiconductor power market SiC substrate supply pattern SiC wafer demand—NEV / Charging Station / PV & Energy storage N-Type substrate of SiC production capacity Summary of SiC wafer supply-demand relationship GaN-on-Si wafer demand—Consumer / Data center / NEV GaN-on-Si Epi-wafer production capacity Summary of GaN wafer supply-demand relationship 6 Analysis of major companies in the third-generation semiconductor power industry chain Wolfspeed Infineon  STM Onsemi Rohm Navitas GaN Systems TankeBlue SICC Sanan BYD Semiconductor Innoscience BASiC 7 The development trend and strategy suggestion of the third-generation semiconductor industry For more information on reports and market data from TrendForce’s Department of Semiconductor Research, please click here, or email Ms Latte Chung from the Sales Department at lattechung@trendforcecom

Press Releases
Navitas Takes Leadership Position in 2021 Ranking of GaN Power Devices Manufacturers with 29% Market Share by Shipment, Says TrendForce

2021/09/30

Semiconductors

Demand for fast chargers used for various consumer electronics has been quickly rising For instance, smartphone brands such as Xiaomi, OPPO, and Vivo led the industry by releasing fast chargers in 2018, subsequently gaining consumer acceptance via their fast chargers’ competitive advantages in cooling efficiency and compact physical dimensions At the moment, notebook computer manufacturers are also expressing a willingness to adopt fast charging technology Hence, the GaN power devices segment became the fastest-growing category in the third-generation semiconductor industry TrendForce expects annual GaN power devices revenue for 2021 to reach US$83 million, an impressive 73% YoY increase Regarding the ranking of GaN power devices suppliers, Navitas is projected to obtain a 29% market share (measured by total shipment) and overtake Power Integration for the top position this year Thanks to Navitas’ proprietary GaNFast power IC design and great relationships with its partners in the semiconductor supply chain, it has become the largest supplier of GaN power IC chips in the consumer electronics markets The company is currently partnering with leading global smartphone and PC OEMs, including Dell, Lenovo, LG, Xiaomi, and OPPO Given the rising demand for Navitas’ fast charge ICs from clients this year, the company is expected to transition its chip orders in 2H21 from TSMC’s Fab 2, which is a 6-inch wafer fab, to other 8-inch fabs instead, in order to resolve the issue of insufficient production capacity At the same time, Navitas is also targeting SAIC (Xiamen Sanan) as a potential supplier of foundry services With regards to other markets for GaN applications, Navitas will likely target the data center market first by releasing related products in 2022 Proven power management IC supplier PI (Power Integrations) was the longtime undisputed leader in the GaN power devices market For this year, PI has released the latest InnoSwitchTM4-CZ series of chips, based on its proprietary PowiGaNTM technology Featured in products such as Anker’s 65W fast chargers, the InnoSwitch4-CZ chips have received universal acclaim from the fast charge market In addition, PI’s recently released integrated AC-DC controller and USB PD controller ICs are expected to be major drivers of PI’s revenue growth this year With an estimated 24% market share, PI will likely take the runner-up spot in the ranking of GaN power devices suppliers for 2021 China-based Innoscience is expected to possess the third-highest market share in 2021 due to increased support from the Chinese government It should be pointed out that the market share of China-based Innoscience is projected to rise to 20% this year, the third highest among GaN suppliers Innoscience’s remarkable performance can primarily be attributed to the massive spike in its shipment of high-voltage and low-voltage GaN products In particular, Innoscience’s GaN power ICs, used for fast chargers, are now entering the supply chains of tier-one notebook manufacturers for the first time ever At the same time, while the company’s Suzhou-based 8-inch wafer fab has already kicked off mass production, Innoscience will gradually expand the competitive advantage derived from its IDM business model in the fast-evolving GaN industry Not only is the company currently actively cultivating its presence in applications including Lidar, OBC (onboard charger) for EVs, and LED power supplies, but it will also look to increase its market share even further next year via its diverse product mix Incidentally, the Chinese government has been increasing its support of the domestic third-generation semiconductor industry, while the ongoing China-US trade war has also forced Huawei and other companies in the downstream supply chain to reassess potential supply chain risks Taken together, these factors have now created the perfect opportunity for China’s third-generation semiconductor material and component suppliers in both qualification/validation and production of domestic substitutes, thereby further propelling the growth of the third-generation semiconductor industry in China According to TrendForce’s investigations, China invested in about 25 projects aimed at expanding the domestic production capacity of third-generation semiconductors in 2020 (excluding GaN-based optoelectronics materials and devices) These projects totaled more than RMB¥70 billion, a 180% YoY increase In particular, commercial products manufactured using SiC substrates, which are the most crucial materials in the third-generation semiconductor industry chain, are primarily based on 4-inch wafers in China, but the country is currently migrating to 6-inch wafers Although the technological gap between China and its global competitors is fast narrowing, China is still noticeably inferior in terms of monocrystalline quality, resulting in a relatively low self-sufficiency rate of high-performance SiC substrates TrendForce’s data indicate that, as of 1H21, about seven production lines have been installed in China for GaN-on-Si wafers, while at least four production lines for GaN power devices are currently under construction, also in China On the other hand, China possesses at least 14 production lines (including those allocated to pilot runs) for 6-inch SiC wafers For more information on reports and market data from TrendForce’s Department of Semiconductor Research, please click here, or email Ms Latte Chung from the Sales Department at lattechung@trendforcecom For additional insights from TrendForce analysts on the latest tech industry news, trends, and forecasts, please visit our blog at https://insidertrendforcecom/

Press Releases
TrendForce Announces 10 Tech Industry Trends for 2022

2021/09/16

Semiconductors / Display / Consumer Electronics / Telecommunications / Emerging Technologies / LED

In this press release, TrendForce details 10 major trends that are expected to take place across various segments in the tech industry, as follows: Micro/Mini LED display development will revolve around active matrix solutions A substantial number of technical bottlenecks in Micro LED development will still persist in 2022 While Micro LED manufacturing costs are expected to remain sky-high due to these bottlenecks, companies have not shown decreased willingness to participate in all segments of the Micro LED supply chain On the contrary, these companies are actively expanding their respective production lines Regarding the development of self-emitting Micro LED display products, TVs represent one of the major directions of mainstream Micro LED development, primarily because TVs, compared to IT products, have a relatively low technological barrier of entry In other words, Micro LED TVs are easier to develop than are other Micro LED display products For instance, after releasing a 110-inch commercial passive matrix Micro LED display, Samsung will likely continue to develop 88-inch (and under) consumer-grade active matrix Micro LED TVs This extension of Micro LED technology from the large-sized commercial display segment to the household-use segment by Samsung is in turn indicative of the overall expansion of the Micro LED market Regarding display products equipped with Mini LED backlights, brands have been raising the number of Mini LED chips used per panel in an attempt to boost the specs of their display products and pursue 1:1,000,000 high contrast ratios that are comparable to OLED displays As a result, Mini LED backlight panels’ LED chip consumption is more than 10 times higher compared to traditional LED backlight panels, in addition to the fact that Mini LED backplane manufacturing requires SMT equipment with a higher degree of accuracy and production capacity While Mini LED backlights are primarily based on passive matrix solutions, they will move towards active matrix solutions going forward, with a corresponding surge in Mini LED chip consumption Hence, the performance and capacity of SMT equipment will also become one of the key criteria in brands’ selection of potential supply chain partners More advanced AMOLED technology and under-display cameras will usher in the next stage of smartphone revolution As the supply of and production capacity for AMOLED panels continue to rise, AMOLED technology has also become increasingly mature Leading suppliers are still attempting to tack on additional functions and improved specs to their AMOLED panels in order to not only raise said panels’ added values, but also maintain the competitive advantages of the suppliers themselves The primary value added to AMOLED panels in 2022 will likely continue to be the ever-improving foldable designs, which will feature optimized weight reduction and power efficiency Apart from mainstream foldable phones that can unfold to reach tablet-like sizes, clamshell-like designs such as flip-up and flip-down smartphone bodies will also emerge as a form factor that more closely resembles the smartphones currently in use Furthermore, retail prices of foldable phones are expected to generally fall within the price bands of mainstream flagships, thereby generating sales growths for the upcoming foldable models Other foldable designs, including form factors with even more folds or rollable form factors, are expected to enter production within the near future TrendForce expects foldable phones to reach a penetration rate of more than 1% in 2022 and 4% in 2024 LTPO panels, on the other hand, are an effective solution to power consumption issues arising from the adoption of 5G technology and high refresh rate displays Hence, LTPO panels will likely gradually become the mainstream display panel for flagship smartphones After two years of development and adjustments, under-display camera modules will finally make their appearance in various brands’ flagship models and enable the creation of smartphones with true full-screen displays The foundry industry welcomes the arrival of 3nm process technology courtesy of TSMC’s FinFET and Samsung’s GAA technologies As semiconductor manufacturing processes gradually approach physical limits, chip development must now turn to either “changes in transistor architecture” or “breakthroughs in back-end packaging technology or materials” in order to achieve faster performances, reduced power consumption, and smaller footprints After incorporating EUV lithography at the 7nm node in 2018, the semiconductor industry will welcome yet another revolutionary process technology in 2022 – the 3nm node More specifically, TSMC and Samsung are expected to announce their respective 3nm process technologies in 2H22 While the former will continue to adopt the FinFET architecture that it has been using since the 1Xnm node, Samsung will for the first time utilize its own implementation of GAAFET, called MBCFET (multi-bridge channel field-effect transistor) for its 3nm process technology In contrast with the FinFET architecture, in which the gate makes contact with the source/drain channel on three sides, the GAAFET architecture consists of a gate that surrounds the nanowire or nanosheet channel on four sides, thus increasing the surface area of contact The GAAFET design significantly reduces leakage currents by giving the gate a greater degree of control over the channel Regarding possible applications, the first batch of products mass produced at the 3nm node in 2H22 is expected to primarily be HPC and smartphone chips since these products place a relatively high demand on performance, power consumption, and chip compactness While DDR5 products gradually enter mass production, NAND Flash stacking technology will advance past 200 layers The three dominant DRAM suppliers (Samsung, SK Hynix, and Micron) will not only gradually kick off mass production of next-gen DDR5 products, but also continue to increase the penetration rate of LPDDR5 in the smartphone market in response to demand for 5G smartphones With memory speed in excess of 4800Mbps, DDR5 DRAM can massively improve computing performances via their fast speed and low power consumption As Intel releases its new CPUs that support DDR5 memory, with Alder Lake for the PC segment, followed by Eagle Stream for the server segment, DDR5 is expected to account for about 10-15% of DRAM suppliers’ total bit output by the end of 2022 Regarding process technologies, Samsung and SK hynix will kick off mass production of 1 alpha nm products manufactured with EUV lithography These products’ market shares will likely increase on a quarterly basis next year Turning to NAND Flash products, their stacking technologies have yet to reach a bottleneck Hence, after 176L products entered mass production in 2021, suppliers will continue to migrate towards 200L and above in 2022, although these upcoming products’ chip densities will remain at 512Gb/1Tb Regarding storage interfaces, the market share of PCIe Gen4 SSDs will likely skyrocket in the consumer PC segment next year In the server segment, as Intel Eagle Stream CPUs, which support PCIe Gen 5, enter mass production, the enterprise SSD market will also see the release of products that support this interface Compared to the previous generation, PCIe Gen 5 features double the data transfer rate at 32GT/s and an expanded storage capacity for mainstream products at 4/8TB in order to meet the HPC demand of servers and data centers Additionally, the release of PCIe Gen 5 SSDs is expected to quickly raise the average data storage capacity per server unit Regarding the server market, flexible pricing schemes and diverse services offered by CSPs have directly propelled the cloud service demand of enterprises in the past two years From the perspective of the server supply chain, the predominant business model has gradually transformed from traditional server brands to ODM Direct, meaning that traditional server brands will see fundamental, structural changes, such as providing colocation servers or full-service cloud migration support, in their business models This shift also means that enterprise clients will come to rely on more flexible pricing schemes and diverse risk mitigation measures in response to an uncertain global environment In particular, while the pandemic accelerated changes in work and everyday life in 2020, hyperscalers are expected to account for nearly 50% of total demand for servers in 2022 In addition, the growth in ODM Direct server shipment is expected to surpass 10% YoY as well Mobile network operators will undertake more trial projects for 5G SA network slicing and low-latency applications Mobile network operators have been actively release 5G SA (standalone) networks as the core network powering various services around the world, in turn accelerating the build-out of base stations in major cities, diversifying their network services (via network slicing and edge computing), and delivering end-to-end networks with a high degree of quality assurance Moving to 2022, applications that are at the intersection of 5G, massive IoT, and critical IoT will emerge in response to enterprise demand These applications, including light switches, sensors, and thermostats used in smart factories, involve the combination of network endpoints and data transmission In particular, critical IoT applications include smart grid automation, telemedicine, traffic safety, and industrial automation, whereas critical IoT use cases within the context of Industry 40 include asset tracking, predictive maintenance, FSM (field service management), and logistics optimization Now that the pandemic has forced enterprises to engage in digital transformation and brought changes to the general public’s lifestyles, the importance of 5G deployment has become increasingly apparent Private 5G networks, openRAN, unlicensed spectrums, and mmWave developments have also generated a diverse ecosystem that ranges from traditional mobile network operators to other emerging service providers, including OTT media service providers, CSPs, social media, and online businesses In the future, mobile network operators will likely actively expand their enterprise 5G applications For instance, O2’s 5G-ENCODE project explores new business models in industrial 5G networks, while Vodafone is collaborating with the MFM (Midlands Future Mobility) consortium to test networks for autonomous vehicles Satellite operators will compete over the low-earth orbit satellite market, with 3GPP now supporting non-terrestrial networks 3GPP recently announced that Release 17 Protocol Coding Freeze will take place in 2022 Release 17 represents the first time 3GPP has incorporated NTN (non-terrestrial network) communications into its releases and therefore marks a significant milestone for both the mobile communications industry and the satellite communications industry Prior to this, mobile communications and satellite communications had been two separate, independently developing industries That is why companies working across the two industries in the upstream, midstream, and downstream supply were generally different as well After 3GPP includes NTN in its upcoming release, the two industries are likely to generate more opportunities for collaboration and co-create brand new innovations Regarding the deployment of LEO (low earth orbit) satellites, US-based SpaceX has applied to launch the highest number of satellites among all satellite operators Other major operators include Amazon, UK-based OneWeb, Canada-based Telesat, etc Region-wise, US operators account for more than 50% of all satellites launched Not only do LEO satellites have the advantage of signal coverage that is unaffected by geographical features, such as mountainous regions, oceans, and deserts, but they are also able to synergize with the 5G network The ability of LEO satellites, as part of the NTN, to enhance 5G communications makes them a crucial component in the 3GPP Release 17 TrendForce therefore forecasts an increase in global satellite revenue in 2022 While smart factories are among the first to leverage digital twins, IoT technologies are expected to become the backbone of the metaverse The new normal that emerged in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to propel demand for contactless devices and digital transformations As part of this evolution, IoT development in 2022 will likely focus on CPS (cyber-physical systems), which combines 5G, edge computing, and AI technologies to extract and analyze valuable information from vast data streams for the purpose of smart automation and prediction A current example of CPS applications is the digital twin, used for such verticals as smart manufacturing and smart cities; while CPS integration for the former facilitates design, testing, and manufacturing simulations, the latter make use of CPS to monitor significant assets and assist in policymaking Now that industrial realities have become more complex, and the interplay between usage cases and equipment have increasingly demanded attention, digital twins will subsequently be deployed to a wider range of applications Paired with 3D sensing, VR, and AR capabilities, IoT-based metaverse will likely emerge as a smart, complete, real-time, and safe mirror to the physical world, and the first application of IoT-based metaverse is expected to be smart factories Ultimately, technological innovations in data collection (including visual, auditory, and environmental data via sensors), data analysis (via AI platform integration), and data integrity (via blockchains) will also emerge as a result of IoT development AR/VR equipment manufacturers aim to deliver fully immersive experiences via integration of additional sensors and AI processing The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed the way people live and work For enterprises, the pandemic not only accelerated their pace of digital transformation, but also increased their willingness to integrate emerging technologies into their existing operations For instance, AR/VR adoption for applications such as virtual meetings, AR remote support, and virtual design has been on the rise recently On the other hand, companies will likely focus on various remote interaction functionalities in virtual communities and online games as an important AR/VR market segment TrendForce therefore believes that the AR/VR market will expand by a considerable margin in 2022 due to the falling retail prices of AR/VR hardware as well as the growing adoption of such hardware for various use cases Furthermore, the market will also continue to pursue more realistic AR/VR effects, such as applications that feature more realistic images constructed by software tools or the creation of virtual responses from real-world data assisted by either AI processing or the integration of various sensors For instance, eye-tracking functionalities will become an optional feature of consumer products released by Oculus and Sony Apart from these examples, AR/VR solutions may even evolve to the point where they are able to provide partial haptic feedback to the user through controllers or other wearable devices in order to deepen user immersion A natural extension of autonomous driving technology, automated valet parking is set to resolve drivers’ pain points As part of autonomous driving technology’s implementation aimed at improving everyday life, AVP (automated valet parking), an SAE level 4 driverless parking service, is expected to become an important optional function of high-end vehicles beginning in 2022 Relevant international standards are currently being drafted and are expected to facilitate the adoption of AVP going forward However, since AVP systems differ according to vehicle specifications, they are subject to various restrictions related to driving conditions, including fixed/unfixed routes and private/public parking spaces, while parking lot conditions such as wireless network connectivity and the comprehensiveness of traffic markings can also affect the viability of AVP The distance between people and the vehicle during AVP use, on the other hand, is governed by domestic laws In view of automakers’ diverse technological roadmaps, AVP parking routes are generated by either local computing on the vehicle end or cloud computing, the latter of which requires sufficient network connectivity in order to function The former is therefore expected to see usage in a wider variety of use cases Alternatively, some vehicles may be equipped with both computing solutions With other such factors as V2X and high-definition maps affecting the range of AVP applications, TrendForce expects an increasing number of different AVP solutions to be under development at the moment The third-generation semiconductor industry will move towards 8-inch wafers and new packaging technologies while expanding in production capacity The gradual phasing out of ICE vehicles by various governments across the 2025-2050 period is set to both accelerate the pace of EV sales and increase the penetration rate of SiC and GaN devices/modules Energy transition activities worldwide as well as the rapid growth of telecom applications such as 5G technology have also led to a persistent bull market for third-generation semiconductors, resulting in strong sales of SiC and Si substrates However, as current efforts in substrate production and development are relatively limited, suppliers are able to ensure a steady yield of SiC and GaN substrates only by manufacturing them with 6-inch wafers Such a limitation has, in turn, led to a long-term shortage in foundries’ and IDMs’ production capacities In response to this quandary, substrate suppliers, including Cree, II-VI, and Qromis, are now planning to not only expand their production capacities in 2022, but also migrate their SiC and GaN production to 8-inch wafers, in hopes that these plans will gradually alleviate the prevailing shortage in the third-generation semiconductor market On the other hand, foundries such as TSMC and VIS are attempting to shift to 8-inch wafer fabrication for GaN on Si technology, while major IDM Infineon is releasing products based on the latest CoolSiC MOSFET, delivering trench designs that enable significant power efficiency for semiconductor devices Finally, telecommunication component provider Qorvo has also released a new GaN MMIC copper flip chip packaging architecture for military applications For additional insights from TrendForce analysts on the latest tech industry news, trends, and forecasts, please visit our blog at https://insidertrendforcecom/

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