The Metaverse is a new third wave of industry trends that will become more and more important over the next 10 to 20 years. At the singularity moment of the metaverse, the point in time at which technological growth becomes uncontrollable and irreversible, digital assets will be more valuable than physical assets.
What is the Metaverse?
The Metaverse, also known as the super-sensory space or the enchanting domain, is a type of universal virtual world that can be reached by the use of virtual and augmented reality terminal interphases. In 2021, technology giants such as Meta Platforms (Facebook) and Microsoft announced that they have invested in the construction of the Metaverse, igniting the world's curiosity about the Metaverse. However, the concept of the Metaverse has a history of nearly 30 years. Neal Stephenson coined the term in 1992. Dismantling the word metaverse, meta means "all-encompassing" and "covering all things", and verse is the abbreviation of "universe". The internet imagined for the future will be an immersive, fully three-dimensional virtual reality, shared by netizens, that can be experienced at any time, on or off line.
The Metaverse can be described as "Internet+", for example Internet+Web3, Internet+ VR/AR, or Internet+other functions which can be built on the Internet. The Metaverse could usher in the point in time understood as singularity, the point in time when robots surpass human intelligence.
Why develop the Metaverse?
At present, the concept of the Metaverse proposed by industry leaders focuses on extending and improving existing virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR) technologies. It can be applied to many vertical fields such as enterprise, education, entertainment, retail, and more. The perceived possibilities of this Metaverse may not quite reach the level of some science fiction concepts, such as being fully interconnected to a ubiquitous Internet, but they still introduce functions that the existing Internet does not have. Interphases used to connect to the Metaverse may be similar to VR wearable devices or there may be new inventions. Behind the Metaverse are countless servers in multiple data centers around the world.
The concept of a Metaverse is fascinating, but what services a real metaverse can provide and how to use it is unclear. Many of the key technologies are still in the development stage, and most of the relevant public opinions are purely theoretical. The only thing that can be confirmed is that the end user will focus on VR, AR, and MR equipment, requiring equipment designers to focus on these products and services as well, to build the Metaverse.
The Metaverse, a digital world in parallel time and space, but what exactly does it take to build the Metaverse? This augmented reality-based metaverse in the cloud requires a lot of resource investment, a lot of time to develop, and the cooperation of companies from different industries. Building a metaverse is also developing a new economic model. The services and goods provided by the future metaverse may not exist yet, and the process of building a metaverse will attract more innovative companies to invest in development.
Metaverse application implementation:
The Metaverse itself is not a new concept, and a large amount of money and resources have been invested in the development of the Metaverse. However, the fact that more and more people are becoming familiar with the concept of a virtual world, and can accept the concept of digital assets, is a new phenomenon.
Are the greatest business opportunities of the Metaverse limited to games and entertainment only? Indeed, game applications will continue to be leading fields in adopting new technologies, but innovation is not limited to just games. New applications of the metaverse will undoubtedly expand to various other industries in the future. In addition to being used in video games, the Metaverse will be used for other forms of entertainment, such as concerts and movies, as well as for work training, education, and more. While gaming may be the Metaverse's initial testing ground, it won't be the final destination.
Metaverse business opportunities:
The Metaverse will provide multiple new business opportunities with infinite room for changes and extensions. Drawing from physical world experiences, we can imagine the continuous development of AR/VR/MR. Terminal interphase devices and other support infrastructure will facilitate the use of high-speed computing capabilities and data storage. Huge data centers will be indispensable, and will lead to new Metaverse business opportunities.
The virtual world can be differentiated according to various platforms such as game life platform, work platform, and consumption platform. However, it is important that cross-domain circulation of data and programs be carried out without hindrance. In both the virtual and real worlds, the semiconductor technology that drives high-speed computing and data storage will become more and more important in the foreseeable future. This integration of the virtual and the real world will provide new Metaverse business opportunities.
From the equipment development side, various breakthrough semiconductor technologies such as DDR5, PCIE5, CXL 1.1, etc. have been developed with high-bandwidth memories that have strong scalability and the ability to respond quickly to operational needs. Built-in AI Acceleration is a key technology that has been be mastered. The multiplier effect of AI, quantum technology, and in-memory computing, etc., has become a hot topic in the semiconductor industry.
In terms of production and manufacturing, all major factories are expanding their production capacity, and various new innovative technologies are constantly breaking through the limits of the past. Wafer technology has evolved from 2D and 2.5D to 3D. New technology in the development of chips has been introduced, such as VTFET (Vertical Transport Field Effect Transistors) technology for 3D stacking. New materials and equipment innovations are developing rapidly. In 28nm chip applications, the copper system-on-a-chip (SoC) process technology is used. More recent innovation has led to the development of the FinFET design structure. As we entered the 7nm structure phase, we saw cross-domain technology integration. All these developments have helped the chip industry to meet the expectations of Moore's Law, and new innovative technologies and applications will continue to expand the possibilities for increased mass production.
The past era of technology-driven and product-driven production is slowly passing away. New business opportunities will need to be found that will combine applications through technological breakthroughs. The Metaverse will provide business opportunities that will connect the virtual and real. Technological progress in the semiconductor industry will rely on both the development of innovative designs and materials with enhanced function and applications. Industry that once faced top-down brand owners will need to learn how to face consumers and users from the bottom up. Taking on a dual-track approach will help shape the future as the chip industry faces a more diverse and ever-changing world.
Future estimates of Metaverse:
It is estimated that the global virtual reality application content market reached US$2.16 billion in 2021, and will reach US$8.31 billion by 2025; a compound annual growth rate of 40%.
The Metaverse will consist of countless virtual worlds interconnected with each other and closely linked to our real world. The Metaverse will be a solid economic model covering work and play, and long-established industries and markets, such as finance and banking, retail, education, health, and even entertainment will change.
Taiwan has advanced software and hardware integration capabilities, and some technology manufacturers are optimistic about the Metaverse business opportunities for chip design, packaging and testing, and production of AR/VR devices, and are rushing to enter the virtual reality supply chain. It is expected that the Metaverse trend will transform Taiwan's technology industry and will bring a new wave of growth momentum.