The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by the demand for advanced computing and data storage technologies, the need for energy-efficient devices, and the continuous development of nanoscale fabrication techniques, and growing importance of technologies such as spin valves, magnetic tunnel junctions, spin transistors, and spintronic sensors. In the last three years alone, there have been over 3.6 million patents filed and granted in the technology industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Technology Innovation: Spintronics. Buy the report here.

However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

300+ innovations will shape the technology industry                       

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the technology industry using innovation intensity models built on over 2.5 million patents, there are 300+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, microphone beamforming, live betting games, and quantum dots are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Circuit design testing, smart contracts, and surround sound systems are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are vehicle platooning and peripheral component interconnect (PCI) power management, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for the technology industry

Spintronics is a key innovation area in technology

Spintronics is a technology that harnesses the spin of electrons to manipulate and transfer information. It relies on the interplay between electron spin and its magnetic moment, effectively utilising both electron charge and spin for various applications in information processing, storage, and transmission.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 30+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of spintronics.

Key players in spintronics – a disruptive innovation in the technology industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Patent volumes related to spintronics

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
TDK 118 Unlock Company Profile
Intel 84 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 82 Unlock Company Profile
CEA 67 Unlock Company Profile
Qualcomm 65 Unlock Company Profile
Seagate Technology 49 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 48 Unlock Company Profile
Micron Technology 33 Unlock Company Profile
Crocus Technology 32 Unlock Company Profile
Avalanche Technology 31 Unlock Company Profile
Toshiba 29 Unlock Company Profile
Japan Science and Technology Agency 27 Unlock Company Profile
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique 27 Unlock Company Profile
Sanken Electric 25 Unlock Company Profile
Canon 24 Unlock Company Profile
Grandis ZAO 16 Unlock Company Profile
Global Foundries 16 Unlock Company Profile
NEC 12 Unlock Company Profile
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing 10 Unlock Company Profile
International Business Machines (IBM) 10 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 9 Unlock Company Profile
Infineon Technologies 8 Unlock Company Profile
Honeywell International 8 Unlock Company Profile
Fuji Electric 8 Unlock Company Profile
Iii Holdings 3 8 Unlock Company Profile
Alps Alpine 6 Unlock Company Profile
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres 6 Unlock Company Profile
Beijing Magic Nano Technology 6 Unlock Company Profile
Microsoft 5 Unlock Company Profile
Everspin Technologies 5 Unlock Company Profile
Kioxia 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

TDK is a leading patent filer in the field of spintronics. One of the company’s patents describes about a magnetoresistance effect element that consists of two ferromagnetic metal layers separated by a tunnel barrier layer expressed as AB2Ox (where x is a specific value). The tunnel barrier layer is situated between the first and second ferromagnetic metal layers to enable the desired effect.

Other prominent patent filers in the space include Intel and Sony.

By geographic reach, Sanken Electric leads the pack, followed by Canon and Intel. In terms of application diversity, Micron Technology holds the top position, followed by Alps Alpine and Honeywell International.

. Spintronics has the potential to transform information processing and storage technologies. By leveraging electron spin, spintronics facilitates the creation of electronic devices that are faster, more efficient, and capable of higher data density. This innovative technology holds promise for advancements in computing, data storage, and communication systems, presenting the opportunity to develop smaller, faster, and more energy-efficient devices compared to traditional electronics.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the technology industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Technology.

Premium Insights


The gold standard of business intelligence.

Blending expert knowledge with cutting-edge technology, GlobalData’s unrivalled proprietary data will enable you to decode what’s happening in your market. You can make better informed decisions and gain a future-proof advantage over your competitors.


GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.