Micron (MU 0.89%), a leading computer memory producer, finds itself at the intersection of two significant megatrends: the artificial intelligence (AI) revolution and the shift from globalization to deglobalization.

Let's explore how Micron can ride these two trends to greater heights.

A businessperson holding a laptop with a digitized representation of a brain hovering above it.

Image source: Getty Images.

The artificial-intelligence (AI) revolution

Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, has said he's witnessed two revolutionary technological periods in his lifetime. The first was when he saw a graphical user interface in 1980, which became the backbone of Windows in the years to come. The second was when he met the team at OpenAI and saw how artificial intelligence had the highest possible score for some extremely challenging examinations.

In fact, according to Gates, "the development of AI is as fundamental as the creation of the microprocessor, the personal computer, the internet, and the mobile phone." In short, AI is going to be huge. 

So what's AI got to do with Micron? Well, a lot.

For starters, the demand for computer memory is expected to grow significantly to meet the computational requirements of AI-driven processes and applications in cloud computing. For example, AI algorithms require vast data sets to train increasingly complex AI models. So to process and store this data, cloud providers must invest significantly in high-quality memory solutions for their data centers. And that's only for cloud computing.

Beyond that, AI is likely to proliferate in every sector, including healthcare, finance, transportation, entertainment, and more. AI-driven applications, such as natural language processing, image recognition, autonomous vehicles, and virtual reality, rely heavily on memory to store and process data efficiently. The growing adoption of these AI applications will increase demand for memory solutions.

And then we have edge computing and the Internet of Things (IoT). Edge devices, such as sensors, cameras, and IoT devices, generate vast amounts of data that require real-time processing and analysis. AI algorithms deployed at the edge rely on memory to handle data locally and make intelligent decisions. This trend amplifies the need for memory solutions supporting AI-powered edge computing and IoT deployments.

In short, the AI revolution will be massive, and memory storage is the pick-and-shovel component to this revolution. Micron, a significant producer of memory, is surfing on a gigantic wave that will last for many years, if not decades.

The shift from globalization to deglobalization

In the last few decades, the semiconductor industry benefited enormously from globalization thanks to the growth of global supply chains. Consequently, memory producers like Micron can source raw materials, components, and manufacturing capabilities from various countries, taking advantage of cost efficiencies and specialized expertise.

For example, Micron has production facilities worldwide that take advantage of lower labor costs and favorable government policies. The result has been a massive boom in production scale, lower costs, and better-quality memory.

In recent years, however, there has been an increasing move away from globalization amid increasingly hostile relationships between major powers such as China and the United States. So instead of focusing on getting the lowest costs possible, governments are now seeking security, stability, and self-sufficiency.

The impact of deglobalization has mixed effects on Micron. On one end, it could lose out by not having access to essential memory markets like China and its low-cost production base. But there are significant upsides as well.

As the only Western memory producer in the world -- the two other memory producers are South Korean companies Samsung and Sk Hynix -- Micron is strategically important to the U.S. and Europe. As a result, the company could benefit from preferential government policies such as subsidies to reestablish memory production locally. To this end, Micron has already announced its commitment to spend $100 billion to build the largest semiconductor fabrication facility in the United States. And there could be more such plans in the future.

On top of that, Micron has a chance to build stronger relationships with customers and partners in the Western regions. A closer relationship is natural because customers want peace of mind knowing they can access critical memory solutions from a trusted supplier. In addition, these relationships could lead to better customer service, more tailored products, and better pricing power for Micron.

In other words, we could potentially see more stability (and growth) in Micron's financial performance in the years to come as it becomes ever more important to its stakeholders.

What does it mean for investors?

Micron is well positioned to benefit from the rise of AI and the demand for computer memory, which will fuel its future growth. While deglobalization poses certain risks, it also presents unique opportunities for Micron to strengthen its competitive position in the Western regions.

As the company navigates these megatrends, it continues to be an essential player that will shape the future of the memory industry. Investors should closely track Micron in the years to come.