Solid demand for ventilator chips for Covid-19 treatment
12 May 2020
To date, over four million people are confirmed infected with the extremely contagious virus worldwide.
Key ASIC designs and markets chips to customers in Asia, US and Europe.
One of its core technologies is Internet of Things (IoT) with over 13 patents awarded in the US China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia.
“Due to the wide and rapid spread of this pandemic globally, hundreds of thousands of patients infected develop pneumonia, a severe lung infection that need ventilators for the treatment, hence created an unprecedented high demand for large quantity of the equipment to combat this fatal disease,” Key ASIC said today.
Ventilators are largely computerised machine with multiple chips and display monitor.
The company said the next generation of the ventilators would have to design with the Internet of Medical Thing and Artificial Intelligence technologies to meet the new requirements as experienced in this pandemic.
The global market is forecast to grow from less than US$4 billion in 2019 to an astonishing US$26.66 billion by 2027 due to the pandemic.
“Since the outbreak of the pandemic, we experienced orders soaring by multiple times for the chips that are used in the ventilators.
“With the number of infections still climbing in many countries and some are sharper than others, we foresee the demand continues to be strong for the rest of the year and perhaps next year as well,” said C. T. Su, CEO of RAiO International, a Taiwan technology company.
“Based on the models, experts are predicting that it is likely to have a second wave of infection once the lock down is relaxed in many countries,” he added.
In addition to RAiO, there are two other Key ASIC’s customers that have chips used in the ventilators.
“The fab capacity is limited due to Movement Control Order but we reprioritised and managed to step up our production as soon as we received the request.
“We are definitely taking the social responsibility role in participating in the life saving process in this pandemic,” said Firdaus Abdullah, CEO of Silterra, the leading foundry in Malaysia.
Key ASIC chairman Eg Kah Yee said it had started the design platform of the next generation of the ventilators that would be powered by the latest Internet of Medical Things and AI technologies.
This will allow ventilators to provide significantly better therapeutic effect to the patients.
“At the same time, it will enable the frontline healthcare professionals to control the ventilators and monitor the patients from a distance or remotely, to significantly reduce the risk of infection of these heroic workers in the hospitals,” Eg added.
Since the vaccine for Covid-19 would likely be about 18-24 months away, the disease was expected to stay on for some time and infection will continue when the economy opens up, according to the medical experts.