High-speed devices are a must in today’s time to achieve the required level of efficiency, thus pushing researchers and engineers to develop such devices. However, one of the most common challenges to achieve this goal is the overheating of the devices. Further, with the introduction of 5G technology, the demand for thermal management materials is expected to rise significantly. For the deployment of 5G technology, several base stations have to be deployed as well. These base stations further require advanced thermal management solutions.
Radio units, baseband units, servers, and routers are the key locations that require constant monitoring for thermal management. These devices use 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.
The multiple-input, multiple-output (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.
According to the recent market intelligence published by BIS Research, the global thermal interface materials market for 5G is estimated at $434.5 million in terms of value in 2020 and is expected to reach $908.9 million by 2026. This market growth is attributed to the factors such as the focus of countries to roll-out 5G technology and the increasing consumption of power with the demand for shrinking size of devices.
The thermal interface market is witnessing several business strategies that enable companies to sustain competition and improve in terms of market size. These strategies vary from product launches, business expansions, mergers, partnerships to collaborations. For instance, in March 2019, DuPont, one of the world’s largest chemical companies, acquired Laird Performance Materials for $2.3 billion to enhance its advanced electronic materials portfolio. Laird Performance Materials offers sensitive electronic components and microwave absorbers, thermal interface materials, and EMC and EMI suppression solutions.
In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has a huge negative impact on the overall growth of the market, especially on the entire supply chain in the first quarter of 2020. The supply chain disruption is primarily due to national lockdowns and import-export shipment delays across the world. Countries worldwide have halted their 5G deployment work for the first two quarters of 2020. This caused a slump in demand for 5G equipment in the manufacturing industry. Due to the COVID-19 situation, European countries and North American countries witness cash flow issues and unclear revenue prospects, leading to cutbacks of technology deployment plans in the countries.