Credit: Marvel/YouTube

Covid-19 hit – and the semiconductor industry got to work.

The world would rely on their laptops and smartphones to accomplish a range of tasks while they waited out the virus – and these devices would need chips. From work-from-home and play-from-home to pay-from-home and date-from-home – here’s how the chip saw us through Circuit Breaker and safe-distancing.

  • Work from Home

Source: Realtek

With Circuit Breaker, came work-from-home and virtual classrooms. Demand for laptops went through the roof – and with it, semiconductor-based Central Processing Units (CPU) and Graphic Processing Units (GPU). In Singapore, the semicon industry stepped up to the challenge, including Realtek, whose locally-developed RealSON smart mesh technology ensured the entire family had uninterrupted WiFi in their particular corner of the house.

  • Play from Home

Source: Xilinx

When we were not working, we watched Netflix, played video games, WhatsApp-ed friends, and hung out on Houseparty, contributing to a global explosion in bandwidth demand. Enter Inphi and its Integrated Electro-Optics Solutions that have helped Increase the bandwidth in the Cloud. Xilinx’s Alveo accelerator cards, meanwhile, enabled service providers to deliver optimal live video quality whether on game streaming platforms, social and video conferencing, live distance learning, telemedicine or live broadcast video.

  • Date from home

Source: Micron

Swiping, texting, flirting from home? With parties and bar crawls severely limited, many young people turned to dating apps, which are powered by AI. AI works on “fast” data – simply put, data processed and analyzed instantly, in real time, which is fuelled by processing power and vast repositories of memory. Micron’s X100, based on 3D X point technology, was the world’s fastest SSD when it launched in 2019. The chip delivers massive amounts of data to applications in real time, and is capable of powering such things as genomic sequencing, big data, machine learning, AI, robotics, IoT, and streaming.

  • Staying secure online

Source: AMD

As we worked from home, played from home, shopped from home and paid from home, we assumed our documents, conversations and transactions were private. AMD’s “Zen” architecture – the foundation for AMD Ryzen™ and AMD EPYC™ processors – does just that, adding layers of protection to our hardware that complement protections on software.  The company works closely with Operating Systems (OS) and PC manufacturers on these integrated hardware and software solutions that offer comprehensive security features for the entire system. Meanwhile, thousands of sensors work simultaneously to optimise and save energy while providing outstanding power and performance.

  • Staying safe on the go:

Source: MediaTek / Source: SSMC

A large part of Singapore’s fight against the Covid-19 pandemic has been contact tracing – aided by the TraceTogether token. One of the challenges when developing this now ubiquitous token was keeping energy use low while still ensuring that the Bluetooth transceiver was able to do its job – which is where a power management chip made by Systems on Silicon Manufacturing Company (SSMC) comes in. Elsewhere, MediaTek’s i500 Edge-Processing platform supported cashless payments, among other things, and ensured that your bank card never needed to leave your hand.