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Unleashing 5G with semiconductor chip innovation

Micron Technology is pushing the boundaries of 5G and AI through collaboration, focus and tenacity

A global leader in the semiconductor chip industry, Micron Technology looks set for a new era of growth with the 5G revolution. PHOTO: MICRON TECHNOLOGY
A global leader in the semiconductor chip industry, Micron Technology looks set for a new era of growth with the 5G revolution. PHOTO: MICRON TECHNOLOGY

Already available in many places globally and to be rolled out in Singapore nationwide by 2025, 5G is broadening our horizons in ways we haven’t yet imagined.

It is creating new opportunities for innovation in smart cities, immersive virtual reality and augmented reality (VR/AR) experiences, healthcare and virtual learning.

Blazing the trail for more connectivity, 5G delivers a fast, high-bandwidth, ultra-low-latency connection, which means the network enables faster response times. This speed allows your car to have more autonomy, and also opens the possibility of machine-to-machine communications on a massive scale.

Unleashing data insights

Tremendous opportunity lies in what we can do with the enormous amounts of data that is being created by the network of 5G-connected devices.

According to the Global DataSphere report from International Data Corporation (IDC) in 2020, over 55 billion connected devices will be online within the internet of things (IoT) ecosystem globally by 2025. The amount of data estimated to be created by these connected devices is 179 zettabytes, equivalent to the data needed if all 7.7 billion people in the world streamed 4K content for four and a half months, non-stop.


Using data and AI in its manufacturing processes enables Micron Technology to produce next-generation memory storage and processing solutions. PHOTO: MICRON TECHNOLOGY

With artificial intelligence (AI), we can transform the massive amounts of 5G-generated data into a tangible resource where insights can be gleaned and then used for forecasting and optimising systems in healthcare, automotive, smart cities and beyond.

5G brings new ways of enhancing our lives; for example, contextual awareness will become possible with the coupling of 5G connected devices and AI. As myriad smart devices are connected to a 5G network, data will constantly be created, collected and analysed. In addition, specific and personalised responses can be anticipated.

Imagine your morning commute starting with your alarm going off and your coffee machine making your cup of coffee as you step into the kitchen. Your phone then pings you that it’s time to leave for work and informs your car to power on. While you are in the car, your watch monitors your emotions and mood so that it can play music catering to your current state of mind.

According to Dr Raj Talluri, senior vice-president and general manager of Micron Technology’s Mobile Business Unit: “To realise the full potential of both 5G and AI-enabled devices, innovation around the storing, transferring and processing of data will need to accelerate more in the next 10 years than in all the previous years combined.”

Made in Singapore, distributed to the world

As 5G revolutionises automotive, manufacturing, smart cities, the smart grid and more, the growth potential for semiconductors in enabling emerging use cases is scaling in parallel.


Dr Raj Talluri, senior vice-president and general manager of Micron Technology’s Mobile Business Unit. PHOTO: MICRON TECHNOLOGY

“Micron is innovating robust, end-to-end memory and storage solutions that unleash the full potential of 5G to deliver new levels of user experience,” says Dr Talluri.

Micron offers application-specific DRAM that includes DDR for traditional compute applications, LPDDR for battery-powered devices, and GDDR for ultra-bandwidth solutions for high-performance gaming and AI.

Micron also offers a wide range of storage solutions built on a foundation of its breakthrough 176-layer NAND technology, which started volume shipments in November last year. This NAND stacks memory cells vertically in multiple layers so that more data can be stored in less space. The 176-layer NAND serves as an essential storage building block for a broad array of industries from the edge to the cloud, including mobile, automotive, client and data centre markets.


INFOGRAPHIC: MICRON TECHNOLOGY

Its 176-layer NAND technology is developed and manufactured in Singapore, home to Micron’s NAND Center of Excellence and the base for Micron’s worldwide operations. Micron Singapore was also recognised by the World Economic Forum last year as a Global Lighthouse for its efforts to integrate big data infrastructure and industrial IoT to implement AI and data science solutions.

Pushing the boundaries of 5G together

The unprecedented possibility of what 5G will bring also comes with enormous potential for the semiconductor industry to innovate.

To reach that potential, we need a new and holistic approach to design and create end-user experiences.  Hardware architecture (processing, memory, storage, sensors and displays) and software must be tightly coupled, semiconductor suppliers must collaborate with one another, and the rest of the ecosystem must create a seamless, connected platform.

“This way, 5G devices can unlock new opportunities, and data can be used in ways that we haven’t yet imagined,” says Dr Talluri.