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The Semiconductor Imperative for Driving Meaningful Innovation


By Jim Elliott, Corporate Vice President Memory Sales & Marketing at Samsung Semiconductor

The speed of technology adoption is moving faster than ever, with our innovation cycle looking less like a wave than an arch, driven by proliferating technologies like AI, IoT, edge computing and cloud.

Jim Elliott at Samsung Tech Day 2019

Jim Elliott, Corporate Sr. VP Memory Sales & Marketing at Samsung Semiconductor, gives the opening keynote at Samsung Tech Day 2019 on how Samsung Semiconductor technology is powering innovation. (Photo credit Orbie Pullen Photography)

5G is essential to unlocking the true potential of these technologies, because in any scenario, latency is the villain. 5G can play the hero by ushering in a new era of speed and fulfilling our constant need for things to happen instantaneously.

We are at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to proliferation. One example: IDC estimates that there will be 41.6 billion connected IoT devices, generating 79.4 zettabytes (ZB) of data in 2025. IoT and other new applications are driving the data explosion at the edge, where the advent of 5G — for lowering latency, improving speeds and driving higher capacities — is bringing virtualization and edge computing to the forefront.

The fundamental fact is that more information than ever will need to be analyzed on millions of devices. And that’s where 5G will make accessing data dramatically faster and more efficient. Edge computing plays its part by taking memory and computing out of the traditional data center to enable faster data processing as close to the source as possible — which helps reduce latency and improve customer experiences.

Samsung Tech Day 2019

Industry experts join Samsung Tech Day 2019 to showcase powerful collaboration and industry innovations. (Photo Credit Orbie Pullen Photography)

But beyond improving network speed, 5G also increases bandwidth to connected IoT devices and systems. This would allow new technologies that require more bandwidth capacity to utilize 5G’s speed to capture data for cars, robots, sensors, and numerous other IoT devices so that they may seamlessly communicate with each other when needed, and meet insatiable user expectations.

Semiconductor innovation, the heart of everything

How do we enable all this speed, bandwidth, and lower latency? Under the hood of today’s innovations are semiconductor solutions, including DRAM, SSDs, processors, image sensors and other technologies. These devices are the foundation that’s fueling a new level of performance and presenting exciting possibilities for the future.

Diverse industries — including automotive, entertainment and healthcare — are harnessing semiconductor technologies to create connected, automated, and intelligent new offerings and business models. This has created a colossal shift in the semiconductor industry because companies operating in this sector need to invent new ways to support the digital transformation and sustain their competitive edge.

The resulting chip solutions make new IoT inventions possible. For instance, a single system-on-chip (SoC) provides high levels of integration and allows devices to operate with high power efficiency and security by packing a CPU, GPU, RF transceiver, memory, power management, connectivity, and sensors into a single unit. This combination of high-performance computing, storage and connectivity is enabling new levels of automation across industries. Here are some real-world use cases:

Autonomous driving: Autonomous driving is taking the industry by storm by bringing tremendous efficiencies and safety enhancements, while helping to reduce the need for parking spaces. In fact, New York City just unveiled its first autonomous shuttle bus service. 5G is crucial for unlocking the full potential of autonomous driving. Data sent between 5G devices is almost instantaneous, which allows self-driving cars to process all the necessary information to make split-second decisions. Improvements to vehicle-to-vehicle infrastructure will also add scale and provide cities with new information on the whereabouts of vehicles to drive efficiencies on the road and improve traffic management.

Gaming: The future where console and PC players directly compete with gamers on their smartphones is now a reality. Reducing latency is fundamental for streaming platforms for games and AR and VR applications to run faster and be more responsive. 5G will be instrumental in transforming the video game industry and delivering a fully immersive lag-free experience for gamers on mobile networks using highly capable, fully standalone VR headsets.

Digital health: The ability to collect and analyze massive amounts of data is key to accelerating medical research. Today, digital applications on mobile devices are increasing patient engagement with real-time reminders and enabling virtual visits with healthcare providers. New digital health innovations include sensor and device wearable technology as well as home sensors to detect and monitor health metrics. We’re also seeing patients and physicians beginning to manage surgically implanted devices using smartphones, tablets and wearables.

Samsung Leads Worldwide 5G Network Market (CES 2019)The Power of 5G

The power of 5G for IoT and edge computing has wide-scale implications for transforming service delivery and user experiences across industries —and we’re only beginning to realize its potential. Clearly, investments in semiconductor technologies are crucial for powering and meeting the expectations for always-on, high-performance networks and services.

At Samsung, we’re working to create a wireless communication framework that leverages 5G with higher speed, more bandwidth, and lower latency. Moreover, we know that innovation cannot happen in a silo. It requires open collaboration with startups and technology partners to pioneer meaningful innovations that improve society with seamless, connected and continuous experiences, wherever we go. We’re excited about what 5G can truly enable and to be a central player in the new 5G world.

*This article was first published at

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