Alibaba Dharma Institute released the top ten technology trends in 2021: the third generation of semiconductors ushered in the explosion of applications

On December 28, Alibaba Dharma Academy released the top ten technology trends in 2021, which is the third time that Dharma Academy has released annual technology trends since its establishment three years ago.

Trend 1. The third-generation semiconductors represented by gallium nitride and silicon carbide usher in an explosion of applications

The third-generation semiconductors represented by gallium nitride (GaN) and silicon carbide (SiC) have excellent characteristics such as high temperature resistance, high voltage resistance, high frequency, high power, and radiation resistance, but are limited by factors such as process and cost. to be limited to small-scale applications. In recent years, with the continuous breakthrough of materials growth, device preparation and other technologies, the cost-effective advantages of third-generation semiconductors have gradually emerged and are opening up the application market: SiC components have been used in automotive inverters, and GaN fast chargers have also been launched in large numbers. In the next five years, Electronic devices based on third-generation semiconductor materials will be widely used in 5G base stations, new energy vehicles, UHV, data centers and other scenarios.

Trend 2. In the post “quantum hegemony” era, quantum error correction and practical advantages have become core propositions

2020 is the first year of post-quantum hegemony, the world’s investment in quantum computing continues to rise, technology and ecology are flourishing, and multiple platforms are colorful. This trend will continue to drive social attention and expectations in 2021. Quantum computing research needs to prove its practical value; the industry needs to focus on the mission of the “post-hegemony” era: collaborative innovation, solving many scientific and engineering problems, and providing The early arrival of the two milestones of quantum error correction and practical advantages paved the way.

Trend 3. Carbon-based technological breakthroughs accelerate the development of flexible electronics

Flexible electronics refer to electronic devices that retain their original properties after being twisted, folded, stretched, and other shape changes, and can be used as wearable devices, electronic skins, and flexible displays. The main bottleneck in the development of flexible electronics lies in materials – the current flexible materials are either insufficiently “flexible” and prone to failure, or their electrical properties are far inferior to “hard” silicon-based electronics. In recent years, technological breakthroughs in carbon-based materials have provided better material choices for flexible electronics: the quality of carbon nanotubes, a carbon-based flexible material, can already meet the preparation requirements of large-scale integrated circuits, and circuits prepared on this material The performance exceeds that of silicon-based circuits of the same size; and the large-area preparation of graphene, another carbon-based flexible material, has also been achieved.

Trend 4. AI improves the efficiency of drug and vaccine research and development

AI has been widely used in auxiliary diagnosis scenarios such as medical imaging and medical record management, but the application of AI in vaccine development and drug clinical research is still in the exploratory stage. With the iteration of new AI algorithms and breakthroughs in computing power, AI will effectively solve the problems of long vaccine/drug development cycle and high cost, such as improving compound screening, establishing disease models, discovering new targets, lead compound discovery and lead drug optimization, etc. link efficiency. The combination of AI with vaccine and drug clinical research can reduce repetitive labor and time consumption, improve R&D efficiency, and greatly promote the universalization of medical services and drugs.

Trend 5. Brain-computer interfaces help humans surpass biological limits

Brain-computer interface is the key core technology of the new generation of human-computer interaction and human-computer hybrid intelligence. The brain-computer interface has played an important role in supporting and promoting the development of neural engineering, helping humans to further analyze the working principle of the human brain from a higher dimensional space. The new field of brain-computer interface explores the communication between the brain and external devices, and controls the machine through mental ideas. For example, helping to improve the application accuracy in terms of controlling the robotic arm will provide precise rehabilitation services for patients who are sane and sound, but cannot speak or move their hands.

Trend 6. Data processing realizes “autonomy and self-evolution”

With the development of cloud computing and the continuous exponential growth of data scale, traditional data processing faces huge challenges such as high storage costs, complex cluster management, and diverse computing tasks. Administration and system tuning are stretched thin. Therefore, the automatic optimization of data management systems through intelligent methods has become an inevitable choice for future data processing development. Artificial intelligence and machine learning methods are gradually being widely used in intelligent hot and cold data stratification, anomaly detection, intelligent modeling, resource mobilization, parameter tuning, stress test generation, index recommendation, etc. The management cost of storage and operation and maintenance realizes the “autonomy and self-evolution” of the data management system.

Trend 7. Cloud native reshapes IT technology system

In the traditional IT development environment, the product development and launch cycle is long and the R&D efficiency is not high. The cloud-native architecture makes full use of the distributed, scalable and flexible characteristics of cloud computing to more efficiently apply and manage heterogeneous hardware and environments. Various cloud computing resources, through methodological toolsets, best practices and product technologies, developers can focus on the application development process itself. In the future, chips, development platforms, application software and even computers will be born on the cloud, which can highly abstract the network, server, operating system and other infrastructure layers, reduce computing costs, improve iterative efficiency, and greatly reduce the threshold for cloud computing. Technology application boundaries.

Trend 8. Agriculture enters the era of data intelligence

The development of traditional agricultural industries has bottlenecks such as low utilization of land resources and disconnected links from production to retail. Science and technology represented by the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, etc. are being deeply integrated with the agricultural industry, opening up the entire process of the agricultural industry. Combined with a new generation of sensor technology, farmland ground data information can be acquired and perceived in real time, and relying on big data analysis and artificial intelligence technology to quickly process massive agricultural data in the field, to achieve crop monitoring, refined breeding and on-demand allocation of environmental resources. At the same time, through the application of 5G, Internet of Things, blockchain and other technologies to ensure the controllability and traceability of the logistics and transportation of agricultural products, and to ensure the safety and reliability of the overall supply chain process of agricultural products. Agriculture will bid farewell to “depending on the sky” for food and enter the era of smart agriculture.

Trend 9. Industrial Internet moves from single-point intelligence to global intelligence

Restricted by factors such as high implementation cost and complexity, difficult access to supply-side data, and incomplete overall ecology, the current industrial intelligence is still focused on solving fragmented needs. The resilience shown by the digital economy during the epidemic has made enterprises pay more attention to the value of industrial intelligence. In addition, the advancement and popularization of digital technology and the investment in new infrastructure will jointly promote the rapid transition of industrial intelligence from single-point intelligence to global intelligence, especially Manufacturing industries with a good information foundation such as automobiles, consumer electronics, branded apparel, steel, cement, and chemical industry, the global intelligent application of closed-loop production decision-making throughout the supply chain, production, assets, logistics, sales, etc. emerge on a large scale.

Trend 10. Smart Operation Centers Become Standard in Future Cities

In the past 10 years, smart cities have effectively improved the level of urban governance through digital means. However, in the prevention and control of the new crown epidemic, some so-called smart cities have concentrated exposure problems, especially the lack of business applications caused by “emphasizing construction and ignoring operation”. In this context, city managers hope to revitalize data resources through operation centers, and promote globalization, refinement, and real-time management of governance and services. The increasing maturity and popularization of AIoT technology and the advancement of spatial computing technology will further enhance the intelligence level of the operation center. On the basis of digital twins, the city will be regarded as a unified system and provide overall intelligent governance capabilities, thus becoming the digital infrastructure of future cities. .

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