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10 technological trends are expected to take place in the year 2022

Approaching the end of the year 2021, we would like to make a broad anticipation for 10 possible technological trends that might come in the coming year 2022.

1. Micro/Mini LED display development will go ahead around active matrix solutions

A big number of technical bottlenecks in Micro LED technologies will still be there in the year 2022. While Micro LED production costs would remain very high because of these technical barriers, companies are still much willing to join into the Micro LED supply chain. 

As for display products equipped with Mini LED backlights, famous suppliers have been adding more Mini LED chips used per panel in order to improve the specification of their display products and pursue 1:1,000,000 high contrast ratios that are comparable to OLED displays. 

2. More advanced AMOLED technology and under-display cameras will be introduced to newest generation of smartphone 

The primary benefits added to AMOLED panels in the year 2022 will likely continue to be the ever-improving foldable designs featuring optimized weight reduction and power efficiency. It is expected that foldable phones would reach a penetration rate of more than 1% in 2022 and 4% in 2024. Besides, LTPO panels are an effective solution to solve power consumption issues arising from the adoption of 5G technology and high refresh rate displays. So LTPO panels 
will likely gradually become the mainstream display panel for flagship smartphones. 

3. The foundry industry sees the arrival of 3nm process technology in terms of TSMC’s FinFET and Samsung’s GAA technologies

After achiving EUV lithography at the 7nm node in 2018, the semiconductor industry will adopt a latest process technology of  the 3nm node in the year 2022 . 

TSMC and Samsung would announce their respective 3nm process technologies in the middle of the year 2022. While TSMC will continue to use the FinFET architecture that it has been using since the 1Xnm node, Samsung will adopot GAAFET architecturefor the first time, called MBCFET (multi-bridge channel field-effect transistor) for its 3nm process technology.

The first batch of products mass produced at the 3nm node in the year 2022 would be HPC and smartphone chips since these products can work much better on performance, power consumption, and chip compactness.

4. While DDR5 memory has entered mass production gradually, NAND Flash stacking technology will advance past 200 layers

The three world-leading DRAM suppliers (Samsung, SK Hynix, and Micron) will not only start mass production of next-gen DDR5 products, but also continue to increase the penetration rate of LPDDR5 in the 5G smartphone market . With memory speed in excess of 4800Mbps, DDR5 DRAM can accerlate computing performances via their fast speed and low power consumption. DDR5 is expected to cover about 10-15% of DRAM suppliers’ total bit output by the end of the year 2022. 

Turning to NAND Flash products, their stacking technologies have not reached a bottleneck as yet. 

In the server market, enterprise clients will come to rely on more flexible pricing schemes and diverse risk mitigation measures facing an uncertain global environment. In particular, while the pandemic made big changes in work and everyday life in the past year 2020, hyperscalers are expected to cover nearly 50% of total demand for servers in the year 2022. 

5. Mobile network operators will establish more trial projects for 5G SA network slicing and low-latency applications

In the year 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, include the combination of network endpoints and data transmission. 

In particular, critical IoT applications include smart grid automation, telemedicine, traffic safety, and industrial automation. In the future, mobile network operators will be active to expand their enterprise 5G applications.

6. Satellite operators will compete over the low-earth orbit satellite market, 3GPP now supporting non-terrestrial networks

3GPP recently announced that Release 17 Protocol Coding Freeze will come into use in the year 2022. Previously, mobile communications and satellite communications had been two separate developing industries. 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. The 
ability of LEO satellites, as part of the NTN, to enhance 5G communications makes them a very important part in the 3GPP. 

7. While smart factories are the first to benefit from digital technologies, IoT technologies will follow suits soon

After covid-19 pandemic occurs, contactless devices and digital transformations are still evoluting as new normal in daily life. In the year 2022, IoT development might focus on CPS (cyber-physical systems)technologies that cover 5G, edge computing, and AI technologies.Paired with 3D sensing, VR, and AR capabilities, IoT-based virtual world will likely emerge as a smart, complete, real-time, and safe reflection to the physical world, and the first 
application of IoT-based scene might be smart factories.

8. AR/VR equipment manufacturers plan to provide fully immersive experiences via integration of additional sensors and AI processing

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way people live and work very much.We believe that the AR/VR market will enlarge by a considerable margin in the year 2022 because of the dropping prices of AR/VR hardware and the growing introduction of such hardware to various use cases. AR/VR solutions may even be 
developed to the point where they can provide partial haptic feedback to the user through controllers or other wearable devices in order to deepen user immersion.

9. Automated valet parking will help  drivers during their autonomous driving

AVP (automated valet parking), an SAE level 4 driverless parking service would become an important solution for high-end vehicles beginning in the year 2022. 

As for automakers’ diverse technological roadmaps, AVP parking routes are generated by either local computing on the vehicle end or cloud computing, cloud computing needs sufficient network connectivity in order to function. Local computing is therefore expected to see usage in a wider variety. Alternatively, some vehicles may be equipped with both computing solutions. 

10. The third-generation semiconductor industry will resolve to 8-inch wafers and new packaging technologies while expanding in production capacity 

The acceleration of EV sales and rapid growth of telecom applications such as 5G technology will help increase the penetration rate of SiC and GaN devices/modules.However, famous suppliers are only cable to ensure a steady production of SiC and GaN substrates only by producing them with 6-inch wafers.

Facing this situation, famous suppliers, such as  Cree, II-VI, and Qromis will not only expand their production capacities in the year 2022 but also shift their their SiC and GaN production to 8-inch wafers. Meanwhile, foundries such as TSMC and VIS are working to shift to 8-inch wafer fabrication for GaN on Si technology, while major IDM Infineon is making production based on the latest CoolSiC MOSFET to achieve trench designs that enable significant power 
efficiency for semiconductor devices.
The miniature of 10 possible technological trends in the year 2022
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