Why is a company like Merck KGaA Darmstadt, Germany participating in the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas? Quite simply because our innovative material solutions are a fundamental component of artificial intelligence (AI), 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT), autonomous driving and smart cities. It’s why the CES in Las Vegas is a must for us.
From the video recorder to the self-driving car
The tech industry has been presenting its latest developments at the CES since 1967. Historical innovations such as the video recorder, the computer game classic “Pong” and the CD player all made their debuts at the exhibition. In the course of the increasingly rapid advance of the digital transformation, the CES has become the world’s leading electronics tradeshow. This year, the CES had over 4,500 exhibitors.
Because digitalization is taking hold in more and more areas of life, the CES stopped focusing exclusively on consumer electronics long ago. Now, it presents a holistic picture of everyday digital living. The tradeshow in the Nevada desert is a must and not just for the major tech companies such as Samsung, LG or Qualcomm. Formerly traditional industrial companies such as Bosch or ZF Friedrichshafen and nearly almost all the car majors are also exhibiting at the CES. Not only smartphones, notebooks and televisions, but also self-driving cars, smart household appliances and humanoid robots have become an integral part of the exhibition. Sony, for example, created a big surprise by presenting its first own electric car.
Driver of the digital transformation
There’s another reason why the CES is such an important event for EMD Performance Materials business of us. Our innovative materials and technologies are contributing to advances in the electronics industry. Even though they aren’t readily visible, everyone comes into contact with them each and every day since they’re now used in nearly all state-of-the-art electronic devices.
Our electronic materials create new possibilities of storing, transferring, processing and visualizing data. The electronics industry relies on high-performance material solutions because the digital transformation has led to exponential data growth. Vast quantities of information are being processed in more and more applications, from smart homes and digital factories to connected traffic.
These kinds of computing-intensive applications call for increasingly powerful microchips. And our semiconductor chemicals are needed to manufacture those chips. Our liquid crystal and OLED materials are inside the latest high-resolution displays that are now also bendable and frameless. In addition, our display materials are used in augmented or virtual reality applications.
A look at the future
By taking part in the CES, we wanted not only to present what’s already possible today. We also wanted to venture a look into the future because our high-tech solutions help take technologies such as AI or IoT to the next level.
This prompted us to hold multiple stage talks at the CES during which Merck KGaA Darmstadt, Germany experts discussed a variety of topics with business associates and scientists. Personally, I took part in an exciting discussion about how material solutions from EMD Performance Materials will shape the city of the future. Whatever the case, smart cities will not be possible without electronic materials. After all, technologies such as AI and IoT are the backbone of smart cities. Without these technologies, connected, energy-efficient buildings or smart, sustainable traffic systems would not be possible.
A further panel discussion addressed the possibilities of neuromorphic computer chips. Neuromorphic computers are based on an entirely new chip architecture modeled on the human brain and, in contrast to conventional architectures, allows information to be processed and stored in parallel. In particular, complex AI applications such as machine learning will increasingly rely on this novel computer technology in the future. EMD performance Materials is already collaborating with leading companies and researchers to develop those state-of-the-art materials that are indispensable for the manufacture of neuromorphic computer chips.
The company behind the companies
Although you might not necessarily link Merck KGaA Darmstadt, Germany with an electronics industry tradeshow, the CES is exactly the right place for us to showcase our technologies. After all, our semiconductor and display materials make industry and households smarter, future mobility possible, and digital technologies more sustainable overall. That’s why we see ourselves as the company behind the companies advancing digital living. In view of the tremendous importance of our products, we certainly don’t want to shy away from the limelight. And that’s why we were at the CES – to communicate and present how we are driving the digital transformation forward.