Biz / Tech

Memory demand boosted by AI and industrial Internet

New technologies, including artificial intelligence and industrial Internet, will further boost demand of "next generation" memory and storage chips.

New technologies including artificial intelligence and industrial Internet, instead of personal computers, will become major catalysts to boost demand of “next generation” memory and storage chips in the next decade, said Micron, the world’s third-biggest memory firm, today.

Devices like vehicles with autonomous features, monitors with intelligent storage and analysis features and various new IoT (Internet of Things) devices will require huge volume of data, which is expected to fuel memory market, said Kris Baxter, vice president of marketing of Micron’s embedded business unit.

“Data is the new currency. It requires next generation memory,” Baxter said in an interview during the Shanghai International IT & Electronic Fair.

Mobile and social networks have become fast-growing sectors on memory, which fueled the memory chip market to US$135 billion in 2017, 57 percent growth year-on-year. It more than doubled the semiconductor market growth of 20 percent, according to researcher Gartner and Micron.

Samsung and Hynix from South Korea and Micron from the United States dominate memory chip market globally. Chinese firms like Yangtze Memory have invested heavily to build memory chip facilities but it still needs years to provide capacity and industrial influence like market leaders in South Korea and the United States, industry insiders said.

Take autonomous and even self-driving car for example, it will require at least 100 gigabyte storage space around 2019, 10 times compared with current level. New 3D maps, digital entertainment contents and advanced algorithms are expected to create huge volume of data for storage.

Micron, which has about 4,000 employees in China, has teamed up with partners including SAIC Motor, GAC Group and Baidu for autonomous driving and companies like Hikvision and DJI on industrial Internet and AI.

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