COVID-19 has created an opportunity to consider how we want to reshape a more secure and sustainable future
Disruptions wrought by COVID-19 were in clear view on Monday, as Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) Chairman James C.F. Huang delivered the opening address of COMPUTEX 2021, not in front of a room of attendees, but to a camera lens. Yet optimism pervaded the opening day of speeches, as Huang and keynote speaker Arm CEO Simon Segars detailed ways in which technology can help us “navigate the new normal with innovation.”
“Everyone, from nine to 90, now knows social media, streaming services and online shopping,” Huang said. “It is only a matter of time before we prefer voice over keyboards and VR over our phones.”
At the center of this new ecosystem is Taiwan, which is “helping to interface, integrate and innovate as always” in areas as disparate as e-mobility and smart sporting, he added.
The innovations built today are to shape the world of tomorrow, Huang said, welcoming Segars to share ways in which the semiconductor designer is looking to “spark the world’s post-pandemic recovery.”
Just as scientists spent decades researching mRNA vaccines in preparation for a global pandemic, today’s technological development is to play a critical role in the years to come, Segars said.
“At the core of this is the question of sustainability,” he added. “How do we use the opportunity this moment provides to reimagine and build a world that manages risk and provides greater access and opportunity?”
Arm’s response to these needs is Armv9, developed over a decade, which promises new approaches to security and efficiency.
As the ubiquity of computing creates new vulnerabilities, Arm baked its Confidential Compute Architecture into the hardware itself, creating universal architecture to free up resources otherwise spent on security for investment into other innovations.
The other challenge is learning how to “run smarter,” Segars said, which in 2021 means “managing our impact on the planet, and in this case, greenhouse gas emissions.”
Arm is therefore focusing on reducing energy consumption without sacrificing performance, especially as 100 percent of the world’s data is soon expected to flow through an Arm device.
This also involves making cities smarter and more efficient, Segars said, offering for example the home of COMPUTEX, the Taipei World Trade Center, which has been retrofitted to improve energy efficiency.
New technologies powered by Arm can also be used to protect natural resources, whether through detecting loggers with recycled cellphones or reducing battery waste from hearing aids, he added.
Yet amid all these exciting visions of the future, Segars urged attendees to take a moment for reflection.
“This year has been challenging, filled with adversity and incalculable loss, but it has given us an opportunity to reflect on the type of future we want to build,” he said. “Like those remarkable scientists who spent decades researching the mRNA vaccine, the work you’re doing today will be critical to building the world of tomorrow.”