From pure fiction to a real market opportunity

Intelligent machines and self-teaching computers will open up exciting prospects for the electronics industry.

The idea of thinking, or even feeling, machines was long merely a vision of science-fiction authors. But thanks to rapid developments in semiconductors and new ideas for the programming of self-teaching algorithms, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is today a real market, opening up exciting prospects for businesses.

According to management consultants McKinsey, the global market for AI-based services, software and hardware is set to grow by as much as 25 per cent a year, and is projected to be worth USD 130 billion by 2025. Investment in AI is therefore booming, as the survey “Artificial Intelligence: the next digital frontier” by the McKinsey Global Institute affirms. It reports that, in the last year, businesses – primarily major tech corporations such as Google and Amazon – spent as much as USD 27 billion on in-house research and development in the field of intelligent robots and self-teaching computers. A further USD 12 billion was invested in AI in 2016 externally – that is, by private equity companies, by risk capital funds, or through mergers and acquisitions. This amounted in total to some USD 39 billion – triple the volume seen in 2013. Most current external investments (about 60 per cent) is flowing into machine learning (totalling as much as USD 7 billion). Other major areas of investment include image recognition (USD 2.5 to 3.5 billion) and voice recognition (USD 600 to 900 million).

Intelligent machines and self-teaching computers are opening up new market opportunities in the electronics industry. Market analyst TrendForce predicts that global revenues from chip sales will increase by 3.1 per cent a year between 2018 and 2022. It is not just the demand for processors that is rising, however; applications of AI are also driving new solutions in electronics fields such as sensor technology, hardware accelerators and digital storage media. Market research organisation marketsandmarkets, for example, forecasts a rise from USD 2.35 billion in 2017 to USD 9.68 billion by 2023 – among other reasons as a result of big data, the Internet of Things, and applications relating to Artificial Intelligence. The creation of AI-based services is also increasing demand for higher-performance network infrastructures, data centres and server systems.

AI is thus a vital market for the electronics industry as well. With our semiconductor solutions, experienced experts and extensive partner network, we will be glad to help you develop exciting new products.

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