Hyderabad: Nasdaq-listed semiconductor company, Micron Technology, which opened its India’s largest Global Development Centre in Hyderabad last week, sees 5G, data centres, automotive, internet of things, PCs and notebook computers to boost demand for memory and storage solutions.
Sanjay Mehrotra, president and CEO, Micron Technology, told Telangana Today, “The long-term trajectory of memory and storage requirements shows positive growth. Smartphones increasingly require DRAM (dynamic random-access memory) and NAND flash memory for not only storing videos and processing pictures but also to run all the applications. 5G will be the major driver of new smartphone sales across the globe, which because of its high speed performance, will drive a greater need for memory and storage content.”
DRAM is a type of random access semiconductor memory that stores each bit of data in a memory cell. NAND flash memory is a type of non-volatile storage technology that does not require power to retain data. NAND flash development aims to reduce the cost per bit and to increase maximum chip capacity so that flash memory can compete with hard disks.
Mehrotra further added, “Data centres are growing fast globally. Artificial intelligence (AI) applications in data centres require more DRAM, NAND flash, memory and storage. And markets such as PCs and notebook computers now require more solid-state drive (SSD). The attached rate of SSDs in these devices is increasing and the average content of flash SSD capacities is going up. Also automotive and internet of things (IoT) markets today require more memory and storage. All this will boost memory and storage solutions market.”
As India becomes one of the largest economies in the world, there will be significant demand for memory and storage technologies. Micron is thus expanding its sales channels in India and plans to drive greater growth in domestic sales. The company is also building product development and research capabilities in the country.
For Micron, he said, India will be one of the major hubs for innovation. There are already 700 people on board, with equal split of product engineering and IT professionals. Operations will be expanded here to make India one of the 3-4 largest sites of Micron in the world. Micron India will be a key part of the overall global footprint of the company.
The teams in India will work on DRAM, flash product development, business support, design and support etc. These teams will be part of the global teams.
Micron today operates in 18 countries worldwide and has centres with over 100-people teams in 10 countries. The memory chipmaker today employs 34,000 globally and has 40,000 patents to its credit, with India team already beginning to contribute to its patent pool.
He informed, “Micron finds Asia as a big market with strong footprint in China, Japan and South Korea. India is also growing fast. The US and Europe continue to remain very large markets for Micron.”
“In terms of end-user areas, mobile segment is very large. Micron’s share in DRAM market is 23 per cent globally, making it the third largest player. Data Centres are a fast growing market. Our company has a strong presence in the Personal Computers segment as well. We are the number one player in automotive space. We are very well diversified,” he added.
Tech for innovation
Going forward, he says, Micron will continue to advance its technologies in DRAM and NAND flash. The company is working on emerging technologies such as 3D XPoint. This portfolio will position Micron uniquely.
“For us, artificial intelligence and machine learning will remain important. Data insights help us to serve our customers better and help improve our business. 5G and internet of things are also being looked at seriously. We are also catering to memory and storage solutions for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as well as autonomous vehicles. Autonomous vehicles (needing 100 GB of DRAM and TB of flash) are like datacentres on wheels,” he added.
When asked if Micron is looking at inorganic growth, to get access to emerging and innovative technologies, Mehrotra says, “Micron has last year established a $100 million venture fund, which focuses on investing in startups that are working on artificial intelligence. Our company is also a big believer of diversity and that’s why 20 per cent of these funds are reserved for companies founded by under-represented communities.”