Deployed in 2019, 5G is the 5th generation mobile network. It is a new global wireless standard that facilitates a new type of network designed to connect virtually everyone and everything together. This includes devices, machines, and objects – up to one million per square kilometer. Its technology delivers higher peak data speeds (up to 20Gbps), super low latency, greater reliability, massive network capacity, increased availability, and a more uniform user experience than its predecessor, 4G. The increased speed is partly achieved by using higher frequency radio waves than past mobile networks.
With these upgraded attributes, 5G will expand the mobile ecosystem into new spaces. It will impact every industry, making safer transportation, remote healthcare, precision agriculture – and more – a reality. However, due to the use of high frequency transmission, it also has the characteristics of poor diffraction capability, easy loss, and small coverage. Therefore, 5G requires a large number of small cells to complete deeper and wider coverage to support the larger number of transmission needs. It is expected that the number of small cells will explode in the future, at an estimated 2 to 3 times that of the previous 4G era.
Beyond mobile operator networks, 5G is expected to become an integral component of new industrial solutions. The characteristics of 5G – including large bandwidth, high-speed transmission, low latency, and networking of a large number of devices – have boosted the demand for massive data gathering and high-speed processing. Memory specifications continue to be developed in pursuit of larger capacities and higher performance. The use of large capacity memory will help speed up real-time data processing and computing performance, reduce network load, and shorten overall load times.
Both the global 5G business transfer schedule and the construction of new base stations are gaining momentum. Given the aforementioned needs of 5G, it is estimated that the market size of 5G small cell bases will grow from $500 million USD in 2019 to $3.5 billion USD in 2025, with a compound annual growth rate up to 37.1%. Small cell bases and regional micro data centers will grow alongside vertical market applications such as smart manufacturing, smart healthcare, image recognition and monitoring, and the Internet of Vehicles. Small cell bases are expected to be the earliest adopter of 5G technology, bringing a new surge of growth to the memory market.
In the 5G era, edge computing has received a lot of attention. With the increasing application of edge computing, the associated amounts of small servers, network switches, and gateways are also increasing, driving up the market demand for memory and SSDs. However, the installation environment of these devices is most likely not as secure as the cloud data center. Therefore, the reliability requirements of memory modules will need to be much higher.
Within the next decade, the amount of data required in daily life will continue to grow exponentially. The emphasis on higher transmission, lower latency, and edge computing will become key technologies to lead the next wave of smart technology developments. For NAND Flash, especially, with the continuous development of emerging fields such as smart homes and autonomous driving, influenced by the 5G era, the number of end products with advanced computing power is expected to increase significantly.
As global mobile network operators start to deploy 5G networks, large-capacity memory can help improve real-time computing performance and reduce network load by handling the continuous growth of temporarily stored data. SP Industrial offers a full range of industrial-grade large-capacity memory, and is prepared for the future rollout to small base stations and micro data centers to grow business opportunities in these spaces.
SP Industrial’s 32GB memory series combines high-speed DDR4-2666 industrial-grade specifications with UDIMM, SODIMM, ECC-SODIMM, and other form factors. It also supports industrial-grade wide temperature, coating protection, side fill, heat sink, and anti-vulcanization technology in order to meet the harsher installation environment tests and more stringent reliability requirements that are required from 5G equipment.
SP Industrial has also introduced a variety of compact industrial memory modules that are especially suitable for 5G applications, such as the VLP DIMM and SORDIMM series. The DDR4 VLP SODIMM, for example, not only has the characteristics of a thin and light SODIMM, but also has an impressive height advantage. Whether it is installed vertically or horizontally, it can save about 40% of motherboard space and still meet the demands of 5G equipment.
In response to the increasing trend of 3D NAND Flash memory technology in 5G applications, the pSLC technology with 3D stacking architecture developed by SP Industrial provides superior performance with 30,000 write/erase cycles (P/E cycles), which is 10 times greater than that of 3D TLC NAND Flash memory. And, compared with SLC Flash memory, it enables savings costs of at least 86%, making it the best choice, both performance-wise and cost-wise, for smart devices in the 5G era.