Who are the leading innovators in flexible electronic circuits for the technology industry?


However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilizing and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

190+ innovations will shape the technology industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the technology industry using innovation intensity models built on over 1.5 million patents, there are 190+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, network-on-a-chip, in-memory computing, and aural exciters are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Electron beam lithography, OLED pixel compensation circuits, and PCI power management are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are capacitive touch panels and emergency communications network, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for the technology industry

Flexible electronic circuits is a key innovation area in technology

Flexible electronic circuits, constructed from pliable materials like thin films or polymers rather than rigid substrates, are engineered to endure bending, twisting, and flexing without impairment or loss of function. This characteristic enables them to adapt to diverse shapes and makes them suitable for applications where conventional inflexible circuits would be impractical or unsuitable.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 140+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of flexible electronic circuits.

Key players in flexible electronic circuits – a disruptive innovation in the technology industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.   

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.  

Patent volumes related to flexible electronic circuits

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Among the companies innovating in flexible electronic circuits, Sumitomo Electric Industries is one of the leading patents filers. The company’s patents are aimed at the utility model pertaining to a photovoltaic module and photovoltaic device. The photovoltaic module comprises a flexible printed circuit board on which multiple power generation elements are mounted. This flexible printed circuit board encompasses a curved section, with portions on opposite sides of the curved section being bent towards each other. Other prominent patent filers in the space include LG Display and Semiconductor Energy Laboratory.

In terms of application diversity, Shenzhen Voxtech leads the pack, while Arisawa Manufacturing and MTG stood in second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Semiconductor Energy Laboratory held the top position, followed by Sumitomo Electric Industries and TactoTek. 

Flexible electronic circuits have the unique ability to bend and conform to complex shapes allows for innovative designs in various industries, including wearables, medical devices, and flexible displays. This flexibility enables electronic components to be integrated into a wider range of applications, from curved screens to compact medical implants. Additionally, flexible circuits offer enhanced durability and can withstand harsh environmental conditions. This adaptability not only expands the possibilities for electronic devices but also paves the way for more ergonomic and user-friendly solutions in our increasingly interconnected world.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the technology industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Technology.


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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.


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