2018 has prepared for us a lot of new products and trends. What changes will affect familiar gadgets, we will figure it out together with CHIP.
Read also: Technotrends 2018: “smart” gadgets and electric vehicles
Exhibitions CES, MWC, CEBIT, IFA, IAA – the year is literally full of important dates. Big speeches and conferences of developers of technology giants are not even taken into account. We will venture to look at what will happen, what will become truly innovative, and what is just a new “packaging” of old ideas.
CHIP looked into the labs of research organizations and industrial companies and compiled a list of what could be this year’s likely technology trends: television is becoming more individualized and more vibrant; computers will amaze with new speed records; smartphones combine apps and features; devices gradually “get smarter”.
Let’s look together at what awaits us in the coming year, and try to understand how justified these expectations are. In this article, we will look at the development of tele-devices, computers and mobile gadgets.
Television displays have long been prepared for UHD/HDR playback. Only now the TV channels have to catch up with them.
All in black
Deep blacks, rich colors, no blurring in action scenes, all with wide viewing angles and no distortion. Thanks to these characteristics, OLED displays already dominate the premium segment of large screen TVs. They have begun to expand into the middle class and will gradually take over the dominant position in the market, seriously displacing LCD TVs with LED backlighting.
The attraction of OLED displays: they are very thin and display fantastic colors from any viewing angle. OLED displays are also used in mid-range TVs.
Only one of the major manufacturers is resisting this trend, offering its displays using quantum dot technology (Quantum-Dot-LED, QLED). However, QLED will become a serious competitor to OLED only if Samsung manages to free these displays from the “ballast” of backlighting and increase the emissivity of quantum dots.
UHD TV comes out of the shadows
According to a number of research companies, Ultra-HD TVs will become mainstream by the end of 2018. And their screens will be filled with relevant content. In addition to UHD broadcast sources (UHD Blu-ray, streaming, online cinemas or subscription broadcasts), “regular” TV channels are also gradually relying on improved content. At the beginning of 2018, high-definition broadcasting via the Astra satellite will begin the RTL channel, which will be available to residents of the European part of Russia.
Thanks to the use of broadband Internet, the Android OS and, above all, HbbTV 2.1, the TV today is becoming something of a super-smartphone. Viewers get rid of the “corset” of hard airtime and watch their favorite TV shows whenever they want. And TV companies, using cookies and the HbbTV feedback channel, can take into account viewership and their geographic location. Retargeting is also possible” with different stories on the first or second view to display ads.
Intel and AMD are working together on a new processor. A fast flash drive will replace your hard drive and RAM. Their integration into a single unit is a more important task than the development of new equipment. However, the home network must also keep up with the times, using new frequency bands, data transfer protocols and wireless devices.
Last November, a real information bomb exploded: Intel and AMD announced the release of a joint product in 2018. Already in the first half of the year, the first Intel Core processor with an integrated Radeon graphics chip manufactured by AMD should be born.
Two competitors on one board plus high-bandwidth, power-efficient HBM2 memory. The modules are combined into a single device using the built-in multi-contact bridge (Embedded Multi-Die Interconnect Bridge, EMIB) from Intel.
This year, flash drives will become cheaper. Manufacturers have completed the transition of their factories to 3D-NAND technology. Thanks to improvements, such as the use of QLC-NAND technology, in which each cell stores not three bits, but four, they will become even faster. The first flash drives for client-server systems are expected to hit the market later this year.
Is there a revolution in the world of storage media?
2018 will be the year of super memory as terabyte SSDs become available. With read and write speeds of over 3 GB/s and extremely low latency, they take on the tasks of RAM.
End users will benefit primarily from speed gains, such as the Z-NAND SSD, which is Samsung’s answer to Intel’s 3D XPoint Optane drive. Probably, already this year it will be possible to combine an SSD drive and RAM into a super device.
Waiting for a gigabit network
Thanks to the use of new data transfer technologies such as G.fast (since 2018) and Super Vectoring (since 2019), old DSL ports will become faster. The speed in G.fast networks can reach 1 GB / s, in Super Vectoring networks – “only” 400 MB / s. However, there are problems: both technologies require a fiber optic line to the distribution cabinet, and in the case of G.fast, even to the subscriber splitter. Higher speed is available to customers using cable networks: the DOCSIS 3.1 standard is already being developed at the network level. The data transfer rate can reach 10 GB / s for reception and up to 2 GB / s for transmission.
In addition, in 2018, a new wireless network standard, IEEE 802.11ax, is likely to be adopted, according to which data transfer rates can reach 4.8 GB / s. Because of this, home wireless networks and Ethernet can also increase speed significantly. Large home networks will use a mesh topology based on routers and repeaters to combine multiple wireless devices into a single entity.
2018 will be the year of software, as AI moves from being a feature to being the backbone of new apps and devices.
New operating system
Google recently introduced the Fuchsia experimental OS. It radically overhauled the interaction between applications and the operating system. Applications and system functions are combined into so-called “script stacks”, which are programs for solving specific tasks.
You no longer need to switch from application to application, for example, to order a bouquet for Valentine’s Day – you can combine these subtasks into one script. Moreover, smart applications can independently create or supplement scenarios. A similar concept is suitable for smartphones, but more so for smart devices in the Internet of Things, wireless interfaces, augmented reality and voice assistants (Alexa or Google Now).
Inexpensive top-class smartphones
Chinese manufacturers will do the impossible: premium smartphones in 2018 are likely to become cheaper. OnePlus started this in 2017 with the launch of the 5T, which cost about 500 euros.
Along with brands such as Huawei, Oppo, and Vivo, we will no doubt be introduced to a large number of new smartphone brands in 2018. Therefore, offers in the lower and middle price segments are becoming more and more interesting.
Let’s see if Apple will change the policy of high prices in 2018 if it is going to release three new iPhone models on the market at the same time? Or will Microsoft introduce another Surface Phone preloaded with Windows 10 for ARM processors?
Augmented and virtual reality, smart watches
Will augmented and virtual reality “come out of the shadows” in 2018? Or will smartwatches make a breakthrough? We are skeptical. These are products that are waiting for a good idea but haven’t found it yet. It is more likely that the concept of flexible smartphones will become a reality in 2018. Samsung Galaxy X should be the first; Apple has also applied for a patent.
Mobile data links are getting faster
5G should bring the world together.
With 5G, the “Internet of Things” should be merged into one structure. Therefore, miniaturization is a must: Qualcomm introduces the first 5G modem on a single chip.
How do all mobile devices connect to the Internet? According to some estimates, the emergence of 5G networks in Russia is expected only in 2022. In 2018, 5G trials started in our country, which was timed to coincide with the FIFA World Cup. To do this, telecom operators have been allocated new frequency bands that have to be mastered.
In the next article, we will talk about the trends in 2018 in the field of smart technology and electromobility.
- When did Wi-Fi appear? Let’s look into history
- The evolution of the mobile phone: the further, the more interesting
- Let gadgets speak: “smart” technology with which you can have a dialogue
Photo: manufacturing companies; Kirill Zykov/Moskva City News Agency; Shutterstock/Fotodom.ru; Marco Scisetti/Fotolia.com