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.