Deloitte predicts more than 750 million edge AI chips will be sold in 2020

13 December 2019 3 min. read
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Deloitte predicts more than 750 million edge artificial intelligence computer chips will be sold in 2020 – more than double the number sold in 2017. The Big Four firm made a number of projections in its 19th annual Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) Predictions report, which surveyed clients, industry analysts, industry leaders, and Deloitte TMT specialists.

The new generation of AI chips allow devices like smartphones to perform machine-learning tasks right in the device, rather than relying on an internet connection and a remote data centre. The projected 750 million edge chips sold in 2020 will amount to US$2.6 billion in global revenue.

"We expect edge AI chips to keep growing about twice as fast as the overall chip industry for at least the next few years," said Duncan Stewart, director of research for TMT at Deloitte Canada. "We predict sales will reach at least 1.5 billion units by 2024; it could even be much higher."

The TMT Predictions report from Deloitte also examined a number of other tech and media trends, from private 5G networks to audiobooks. The firm’s TMT predictions have boasted an 80% accuracy rate over the past five years.

Deloitte predicts more than 750 million edge AI chips will be sold in 2020

Deloitte predicts that over 100 companies will begin testing private 5G networks by the end of 2020, and by 2024 the value of cellular equipment and services for private networks will amount to tens of billions annually. Hundreds of thousands of companies are expected to deploy private 5G networks in the next decade, with the faster and more stable connection enabling connected devices and IoT in areas such as 4.0 manufacturing.

Antenna TV – which is widely available, convenient, and free in urban areas – will be viewed by at least 1.6 billion people in 2020. Eight percent of Canadians will watch at least some of their TV over the air.

TV viewing minutes are expected to decrease by approximately 5% in 2020 in the US and Canada, but TV ad revenues will grow in dollar terms – increasing by US$4 billion to reach US$185 billion in 2021.

The report also predicts that 700+ low-orbit satellites will be in the skies by the end of 2020, offering broadband internet to far-flung and underserved parts of the globe. That’s approximately 500 more than the 200 currently operational at the end of 2019.

Smartphone extras are also projected to continue growing in popularity, with the market for apps, games, accessories, and ancillary devices for smartphones increasing 15% to US$459 billion in 2020. Wired earphones, cases, screen protectors, and memory cards were the most popular items in Canada, with 18-to-24-year-olds the most avid consumers of smartphone accessories.

The global audiobook market was pegged to grow 25% to US$5 billion in 2020, while the podcasting market is expected to grow by 30% to US$1.1 billion. Eighteen percent of Canadians said they listened to podcasts, with 60% of those saying they listen weekly or more.

The Deloitte report highlighted that an estimated one million enterprise-use robots will be sold in 2020, with approximately half being professional services units (versatile, cart-like bots). Professional services bots are expected to surpass industrial robots (e.g. the ones with "arms" in a car assembly plant) in revenue by 2020.

Canada’s manufacturing industry was already bot-heavy in 2018, with 172 robots per 10,000 employees, compared to a global average of 99 per 10,000 employees.