As AI dramatically increases hardware and network performance requirements, it is driving innovations in miniaturization, new materials and processing methods – and a move to purpose-built, software-specific hardware designs. In supporting these challenging innovations, cloud service providers will develop expertise and lead the way on best practices.
Chips, networks and other infrastructure technologies that support IT will become more and more complicated, while continuing to improve their performance. In recent years, the tendency for advantages in IT infrastructures to be directly linked to the companies' competitive edge has been intensifying. Not only cloud vendors but service providers are also joining the self-development of these technologies. We should pay attention to changes and trends in the leadership for IT infrastructure technologies in terms of forecasting the day when new services become reality.
The evolution of semiconductor chips knows no end. The manufacturing technology for miniaturization has reached a level of a 5-nm process, bringing with it better performance and power saving. The few manufacturers that survive the race will also continue their fight on post-processing technologies like multilayered chips, hailed as page 3 of Moore's law, as well as the discovery and utilization of new materials. Meanwhile, the design of processors is separating from manufacturing, mitigating the obstacles for newcomers and spawning companies specialized in services and AI. In addition to their own software knowhow, these companies use the processor system usage trends provided by huge numbers of users as an input to design optimal chips, taking the world by storm. In network technologies, 5G technology, which is increasingly becoming open-source, has been deployed, and satellite internet, low-output mesh networks and other technologies have been implemented one after another. These technologies are combined for each application, and the usage trend is shifting to a composite structure. Thus, complicated network structures may soon be packaged and provided as one of the cloud services.
Thus, IT infrastructures will experience further advancement in the vertical consolidation of services and infrastructures. It is the service providers with huge user bases that will support the financial power required for the endless growth in technological sophistication. And the virtuous cycle of best practices, collected from huge numbers of users, providing feedback to optimized design and operational knowhow will likely continue for the time being.