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The top 10 technical trends estimations are made by TrendForce for the coming year 2021

Approaching the end of the year 2020, TrendForce who is a world leading market intelligence provider would like to make a forecasts about 10 technical trends that may happen in the coming year 2021.
TrendForce makes a brief introduction about top 10 technical trends for the year 2021
1) The three world-leading DRAM suppliers Samsung, SK Hynix, and Micron will continue their technologies transition towards the 1Znm and 1alpha nm process while they formally enter the EUV era, as before, Samsung will still take the lead in 2021. DRAM suppliers will  replace their existing double patterning technologies step by step, so as to optimize their cost structure and manufacturing efficiency.

2) International mobile network operators will fasten their 5G base station constructions while Japan-based NTT DoCoMo and Korea-based SK Telecom are already focusing on 6G deployment. This is because 6G can support more emerging applications in XR (including VR, AR, MR, and 8K and above resolutions), lifelike holographic communications, WFH, remote access, telemedicine, and distance education.

3) Internet of Things evolves into Intelligence of Things as AI-enabled devices move closer to autonomy

In the year 2021, deep AI integration will be much integrated into IoT, evolving from Internet of Things to Intelligence of Things. Innovational technologies such as deep learning and big data technology will result in upgrade for IoT software and hardware applications. In terms of industry dynamics, economic stimulus, and remote access request, IoT will be introduced  to certain major verticals on large scale, such as smart manufacturing and smart healthcare. It is expected that the functions achieved by AI-enabled medical IoT will be the most important applications in different environments such as smart clinics and telemedicine centers. 

4) AR glasses will be designed for smartphone-connected type in the year 2021,smartphone will serve as computing platform for the AR glasses. In this way, the total cost and weight for AR glasses will be reduced much. It is estimated that smartphone brands and mobile network operators will penetrate deeper into AR glasses market in the year 2021.

5) Automotive safety technology has developed from an application for car exteriors to one for car interiors, while sensing technology keeps integrating driver status monitoring with external environmental readings. Simultaneously, automotive AI integration is developing from its existing entertainment and user assistance functions to an crucial enabler of automotive safety. DMS (driver monitoring systems) have been a must in the development of ADS (autonomous driving systems) because DMS must function simultaneously, including real-time detection/notification, driver capability assessment, and takeover of driving controls whenever necessary. 

6) Foldable displays will be adopted more in more devices for upgrading screen in the year 2021.Based on flexible AMOLED production capacities, smartphone brands will keep focusing on their development of foldable phones. Besides, foldable displays have also penetrated into other devices such as notebook computers. Notebooks with foldable displays may enter the market in the year 2021.

7) It is estimated that Mini LED may be a strong alternative to white OLED as a display technology. Samsung Display (SDC) is using its new QD OLED technology to technologically different from its competitors, as SDC is ending its LCD manufacturing operations. SDC hopes set the new display standard in TV specs with its QD OLED technology, which is much better than white OLED in terms of color saturation. 

8) The advanced packaging technology keeps developing at high speed although facing the impact of COVID-19 this year. Semiconductor companies such as TSMC, Intel, ASE, and Amkor are actively joining in the booming packaging industry,too. TSMC and Intel have released their respective new chip packaging architecture (branded 3D fabric for TSMC and Hybrid Bonding for Intel) while they are evolving their third-generation packaging technologies (CoWoS for TSMC and EMIB for Intel) to fourth-generation CoWoS and Co-EMIB technologies. In the year 2021, both might benefit from high-end 2.5D and 3D chip packaging requirement.As for AiP module packaging, MediaTek and Apple is focusing on the mainstream slip chip packaging technology that is relatively low cost.AiP is expected to be gradually integrated into 5G mmWave devices in the year 2021. Driven by the requirement of 5G communications and network connectivity, AiP modules are estimated to be popular in the market of smartphone, automotive and tablet. 

9) Facing the rapid development of IoT, 5G, AI, and cloud/edge computing, chipmakers keep vertical integration of production solutions to make competition more fierce than ever.Chipmakers who cannot respond in time to market requirement may face the risk of overreliance on a single market soon.

10) In the year 2021, Samsung is expected to release its first active matrix Micro LED TVs as the first year of Micro LED integration in TVs. With the help of TFT glass backplane, active matrix can address pixels for finer display. However, the Micro LED manufacturers have face the greatest challenge in technology and cost if they want to push Micro LED to the end devices market. 
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