Thermal Interface Materials Market for 5G to Get a New Boost by 2026

Posted by BIS RSRCH on May 13th, 2021

In today's world, a device must work at a very high speed while delivering smooth and efficient performance. For achieving this goal, engineers are working toward enhancing the computational power of the devices in more compact sizes, thus generating more heat. Overheating is one of the critical and significant concerns for next-generation electronics components and devices. and is one of the fundamental causes of electronic failure, and for dealing with this issue, companies are developing thermal management solutions. Thermal interface materials are the core for thermal management in electronics devices. With advancement in technology and the introduction of 5G technology, the demand for thermal management materials is expected to rise significantly. The 5G devices are embedded with high-power operating central processing units (CPUs), graphic processing units (GPUs), system on chips (SoCs), and memory units, which are the primary cause of thermal heat radiation in any device.

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With the advent of 5G technology, a sufficient number of base stations are deployed in any area. These 5G base station units also generate significant demand for thermal management solutions. Radio units, baseband units, servers, and routers are the key locations that require constant monitoring of thermal management and uses thermal interface materials such as phase change materials, thermal pads, and thermal gels between heat sinks and heat radiating radio frequency (RF) and power components. Various unicorn companies of the 5G ecosystem are working on conducting research and development for 5G-enabled antennas to cater to the growing demand for 5G infrastructure across the globe. Some of the key market players are Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Nokia Corporation, and Ericsson. These companies' dominance differs from region to region, depending on their collaborative contracts with countries’ telecom operators. Some of the active telecom operators successfully achieving 5G infrastructure in the countries are Verizon, Vodafone, China Telecom, China Unicom, LG U+, AT&T, and KDDI.

Governments of various nations are strengthening the push toward developing 5G equipment and infrastructure to lead in the 5G race. Organizations are researching and developing new technologies that can achieve a breakthrough in the 5G industry. The 5G equipment manufacturers ecosystem has many budding players, thriving toward achieving new antenna technologies and products in the market. The Horizon 2020 work program promotes innovation of 5G networks in Europe, China, the U.S., and Taiwan, including cross-border connected and automated mobility while conducting 5G trials across different vertical industries. Asia-Pacific and Japan (APJ) countries also have significant telecom players, such as SK Telecom, China Unicom, SoftBank, LG U+, and Optus. These companies collaborate with 5G equipment manufacturers and suppliers, such as Ericsson, Huawei, and Nokia, to deploy 5G base stations. The MIMO technology accelerates the performance of a 5G infrastructure, enhancing the unit's overall efficiency. The shift toward 5G technology also affects the business development and simultaneously ramp up the demand for new thermal interface materials with high thermal conductivity, low thermal resistance, and low dielectric constant.

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5G smartphones are another key demand generating application segment of thermal interface materials. Thermal interface materials are used for various components in a smartphone, delivering the high power consuming 5G device's smooth functioning. Several companies are developing TIMs for smartphone applications. Some of the key players involved in the market are Laird Technologies, Inc., Henkel Corporation, and Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., Ltd. Some of the manufacturers' common thermal interface materials are thermal greases, thermal pads, thermal gap fillers, and graphite sheets. Samsung Electronics and Huawei Technologies are the leading players in the 5G smartphone market. Samsung uses carbon fiber TIM and phase change materials along with thermal greases in their latest 5G smartphones. On the other hand, China-based player Huawei Technologies, Inc. is shifting toward the adoption of graphite sheets for 5G smartphone applications. 

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