5 technologies to look out for in 2022

We’re living in unpredictable times, and not only because we keep getting blindsided by viruses. The unprecedented leaps that technology has taken in the past decade alone are enough to make your head spin, and with that innovation comes, well, even more innovation.

Given the last two years we’ve had, making a safe prediction seems like a fool’s errand. Yet curiosity is in our nature, and it’s certainly exciting to follow and speculate on the latest developments in the tech world, and what they mean for us. From AI developments to process automation, earlier this year McKinsey sketched its vision for what the next decade will bring. On that note, let’s take a closer look at what experts are deeming the tech watchwords for 2022.

1.    Aluminum Electrolytic Capacitors

More often than not, we obsess over many superficial aspects of trendy new gadgets, but let’s not forget that, as consumer electronics usage grows, the building blocks required to make them function are bound to as well.

Breaking it down, these particular capacitors are commonly used as leaded components which function for conversion or cooling in industrial electronic products, such as LED lighting, uninterruptible power supplies and flash device storage, among many others.

A report from Azoth Analytics tells us that in the forecast period of the next five years demand will rise for aluminium electrolytic capacitors: “The increasing penetration of electronics in the automotive industry and the budding automation in manufacturing industries will further propel the market in the coming years”.

The pandemic led to both a delay in capital expenditure for these kinds of industrial electronics, and restrictions in operations due to lockdowns. This predicted growth in demand owes itself to the unique capacity of these types of power supply. According to XP Power, “power density demands are increasing, and electrolytic capacitors are the only component in the power supply that wears out”.

2.    AMOLED Panels

If we pivot to smartphones and televisions, the debate between LCD vs LED rumbles on, and there’s a new contender for the best display technology: AMOLED. An abbreviation for Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diodes, this backlight display has been around for a couple of years but innovation is steaming ahead.

TrendForce reports that leading suppliers of AMOLED are currently attempting to tack on new functions and improve specifications. The reason speculators are therefore optimistic about the rising value of AMOLED is because of its inventive new foldable designs, which have been “optimised for weight reduction and power efficiency”.

This comes as the prices of foldable phones are anticipated to go down, even as speculation mounts around these being the future of smartphones. Technosports similarly sees AMOLED technology driving almost half of the total smartphones that will be sold in the year ahead.

3.    NAND Flash stacking tech

For the future of memory, 2022 will not be a year to forget. NAND flash memory (or ‘not-and’ technology) is found in most hard drives, SD cards and USB drives, but until now, we have only experienced two dimensions of this tech.

Flash stacking or ‘3D NAND’ is on the rise, currently readily available on many smartphone, tablet and computer outputs. As Simms explains: “3D NAND is the stacking of memory (or silicon) chips on top of each other. The aim is to make your device faster, hold more information, run more efficiently and use less energy.”

Because of the growing interest in higher capacity drives for memory, despite forecasters believing that the price value of 3D NAND will fall in 2022, the transition to this multi-layered drive technology marches on. Flash stacking technology has a projected compound annual growth rate of 28.6% for the coming year.

4.    Generative Artificial Intelligence

Along with data fabric technology — which integrates learning for human and robot users — Generative AI has been cited by Gartner as one of the top strategic technology trends that organisations will need to explore in 2022.

Generative AI incorporates machine learning (automated learning and adaptation of computer systems without instructions) about content or objects from the data they have, and subsequently apply this data to create novel and “entirely original artefacts”.

This technology is used for such objectives as the creation of software code, the development of drug facilitation, and targeted marketing. Not to mention the film industry — an automated AI is what gave us the CGI de-ageing of Robert DeNiro and Joe Pesci in Martin Scorsese’s epic gangster film The Irishman in 2019.

Forbes also weighed in with the prediction that Generative AI would be the one to watch in terms of movements within data science. Among other uses, it cited the fact “can be created to train image recognition systems to spot signs of very rare and infrequently photographed cancers in medical images”.

5.    Cloud-Native Platforms (CNPs)

Most readers will be familiar with how much our data capacities are rising up into the ether of cloud computing. Moving beyond the traditional method of ‘lift and shift’, cloud-native platforms (CNPs) should reshape software development altogether.

For the uninitiated, ‘lifting and shifting’ involves moving data to a cloud server without changing its makeup. This means that the cloud serves to simply re-host any existing data. Cloud-native platforms, on the other hand, boost data transfers and compatibility by building applications that are pre-modeled (these are dubbed containers) to readily interact with cloud infrastructure.

According to software company Oracle, the overall benefits of CNPs are that they “give developers a comprehensive, standards-based platform for building, deploying, and managing cloud native applications such as microservices and serverless functions. Since these platforms are easily scalable to their target environment, the future looks native, with Forrester claiming that in 2022 “container adoption will hit 50% as cloud native takes center stage”.

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