Chapter 6: Requirements and Markets for Nanoelectronics

The android robot Geminoid F by Hiroshi Ishiguro of Osaka University and ATR in 2010. #2010 IEEE
The android robot Geminoid F by Hiroshi Ishiguro of Osaka University and ATR in 2010. #2010 IEEE

The semiconductor market grew 2010 by 70 Bio. $ against 2009, more than in the previous 9 years taken together, and the semiconductor industry launched the biggest investment program in its history with 100 Bio.$ over a 2- year period. This was the overture to a decade with great potential and great challenges. We look at the market segments and the required electronic functions, and we highlight four product and service areas:
• Approaching 6 Billion mobile-phone subscribers
• Access to education for any child
• One Carebot (personal robot) per family
• Efficient and safe personal mobility.
At the level of over four billion active mobile phones 2010, it is clear that mobile electronic companions have become the drivers of nanoelectronic innovations with growth only limited by the creation and support of new, attractive features and services. Energy, bandwidth, size and weight requirements of these consumer products provide the largest pressure for System-on-Chip (SoC) architectures.
Other exemplary new products are selected for their significance, some for their lengthy path into the market. Health care is such an example: The non-invasive glucose sensor and the portable ECG recorder with automatic, neuroprocessor- driven event detection in the size of a quarter $ would serve hundreds of millions of people. Nanoelectronics for self-guided health is an area of public policy in view of the cost of “a posteriori” medical care.
Access to information and education for any child/student will be provided by 1$ tablets where service contracts and the spin-offs from surfing and cloud-computing will generate the revenue.
Personal robots, coined by the ageing Japanese nation as the key product after the PC and ridiculed by others, will arrive as carebots for education, entertainment, rehabilitation, and home-service, accepted as a large-scale need by 2020 in most developed countries including China.
Accident prevention systems on rail and road already would make millions of units per year, if required on all trucks and busses, and they would save many lives. For electric bikes, scooters and cars, there is no limit to more intelligent control and energy efficiency. Effective individual mobility, compatible with the environment, is another matter of global competition, of public well-being and of a related public policy.


Bernd Hoefflinger