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A centuries-old Japanese ceramics maker has found itself at the center of the AI revolution

Lakshmi Varanasi   

A centuries-old Japanese ceramics maker has found itself at the center of the AI revolution
  • Ceramics maker Maruwa is helping cool data centers amid the AI boom.
  • The company has seen its shares double over the past year, the FT reported.

The AI boom is driving a surge in data center construction that's sucking up tons of energy.

By 2030, data centers are expected to consume 35 gigawatts of power annually, up from 17 gigawatts in 2022, according to McKinsey & Company. For context, one gigawatt is enough energy to power 750,000 homes, according to CNET.

About 40% of that energy goes toward keeping the servers cool, according to estimates from McKinsey.

This is welcome news to perhaps no one more than a centuries-old Japanese ceramics maker that got its start making dinnerware.

Maruwa, which builds ceramics for circuit boards and semiconductors, has seen its shares double over the past year, according to the Financial Times. And since April, its shares have been at an "all-time" high.

The company says its strength is building materials that dissipate heat — moving heat from sources operating at high temperatures into their surrounding environments.

"The demand for heat dissipation is rapidly increasing due to high-speed communication in data centers, and our company has a strong competitive advantage in heat dissipation," a Maruwa spokesperson told Business Insider.

"We expect that next-generation high-speed communications, including those related to generative AI, will be the biggest driver of our business growth over the next few years," according to the company.

Maruwa's competitive advantage stems from its long history. The company traces its origins to the early 19th century and originally manufactured dishes for Japanese cuisine before shifting to electronics components in the 1960s, according to its website.

"As the company has more than 200 years of history as a ceramic supplier, all the knowledge and technology accumulated since the early 1800s is the core competitiveness of the company," Goldman Sachs analyst Mitsuhiro Icho told the FT.


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