Claudio Murri, Asia Advisor to EIF, on cloud computing and wearable technology in Asia

29 June 2015 Author: Claudio Murri, Asia Advisor to EIF

Cloud computing developments in Asia

A recent study conducted by the consulting firm Frost & Sullivan in collaboration with the IT company F5 Networks “The New Language of Cloud Computing” describes the increasing focus and efforts on cloud computing in the Asia Pacific region.

58.6% of organization decision-makers identify it as their number one priority in the next 12 months. In Hong Kong, for example, 95% of enterprises are either already using cloud services or currently in the planning or implementing stage. The study showed a strong understanding by businesses of the actual benefits of cloud services beyond cost-savings, particularly in driving business model innovation and experimentation without increasing capital expenditure or other risks.

The white paper shows that Software-Defined Everything (SDE) and related emerging technologies will best meet the management demands of automated environments as cloud services begin to resemble an infinite resource pool, with intelligent, real-time monitoring and managing systems. The paper further notes that the resulting Everything as a Service (XaaS) IT environment is predicted to significantly disrupt the way technology is consumed and inspire business model innovation – ultimately transforming whole industries.

The pace of adoption varies at different parts of the region. The study covered mostly six countries – Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, South Korea, and Japan – which are all relatively mature cloud computing markets in Asia-Pacific. The cloud is also definitely currently a hot topic in Malaysia and South East Asia, with more and more enterprises turning to cloud infrastructure and public providers to meet their digital needs. Three out of four decision-makers agree that cloud services are a solution to “faster speed to market and increase competitiveness;” while 70% agree that cloud computing “is a critical component in any business transformation strategy.”

However, the cloud is still in the infancy stage for many South East Asian markets and questions still remain over implementation, security and governance, bandwidth capabilities, regulation, security and data governance. The political, economic, social and technological environments in each country are significantly different, which may potentially affect their enterprises’ perception and adoption behaviours toward cloud computing. The extensive list of cloud computing threats include data breaches, data loss, account or service hijacking, insecure APIs, denial of service, malicious insiders, and other unexpected threats. Since there is no patch that can avert all threats, governments and enterprises need to be highly-vigilant about security issues and risks associated.

South Korea experimenting on flexible wearable electronics devices

A group of South Korean scientists have developed three-dimensional (3D) printing technology that can produce curved and flexible electronics circuits. Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) announced that its materials science and engineering research team led by Professor Park Jang-ung has succeeded in imprinting 0.001 millimeter ultrafine patterns on plastic circuit boards at room temperature. Lowering the printing temperature means that textile, fiber, plastic and other materials that are used in contact with human skin could now be produced by 3D printing. The new technology could therefore be used to produce flexible wearable electronics devices. 

Professor Park said that the electronics industry will be able to produce 3D electronic circuits with more diverse designs, which has been difficult with existing photolithographic technology. In fact, the existing ultrafine pattern production methods in semiconductor manufacturing procedure has had difficulties in reproducing 3D patterns. But the new technology can realize it in high resolution.

3D printing technology has drawn attention in the electronics industry, but its application to produce electronic circuits has been slow because existing 3D printers could only produce low-resolution results. 

Consequently, they have been unable to imprint ultrafine patterns thinner than 0.01 mm. It has also proven impossible to imprint on metallic or plastic materials because printing procedures were done at a high temperature.

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