Businesses are just beginning to incorporate capabilities enabled by new technologies like artificial intelligence and 5G, but the world’s tech giants have their sights trained a few steps ahead.
The 2022 COMPUTEX Forum kicked off on Thursday morning with insightful discussion around the upcoming technologies that promise to empower people across industries to work faster and safer in the face of mounting global challenges.
Speakers from leading tech powerhouses Texas Instruments (TI), Ericsson, NXP, NVIDIA and Micron took the stage in-person and virtually to share their vision of what the near and long-term futures will look like, as well as their efforts to realize them.
The promise of 5G has been bandied about for years with tantalizing promises of lightning-fast workflows, only to now finally begin seeing major dividends. Ericsson’s twice-annual Mobility Report estimated there to already be at least 660 million 5G subscribers, with 4.4 billion expected by 2027. People in Taiwan and South Korea are already using an average of 27GB per month on their smartphones. By 2030, an estimated 75 billion devices will be connected around the world.
As Ericsson Taiwan vice president and chief technology officer Dann Yao sees it, 5G will enable a surge past 2D screens and into the realm of extended reality (XR), with haptics, holographs and AR glasses all completely untethered from clunky battery packs and wires.
“We have audio, video — now we’re bringing touch, but what’s in the future? It’s the future of all senses coming to the internet,” Yao said.
Many enterprises and creatives are already taking full advantage of the virtual worlds enabled by NVIDIA’s Omniverse.
“Omniverse hasn’t been possible until now,” but thanks to advancements in AI, NVIDIA RTX, data storage and universal scene description, people across a vast array of industries are already using this “connector of virtual worlds” to plan factories and make animations — even make a digital twin of the entire globe, NVIDIA vice president of the Omniverse Developer Platform Richard Kerris said.
Despite these opportunities, the pressing challenges of energy consumption, safety and security remain at the fore. Especially as climate action becomes increasingly urgent, firms like TI realize the need to address power concerns.
One solution is building more power plants, but “this is almost mission impossible,” said Luke Lee, TI president of Taiwan, Korea and South Asia. Instead, efficiency could be part of the answer.
TI’s solution is gallium nitride (GaN) transistor technology, capable of far greater power density and efficiency.
“Most engineers are not familiar with GaN because it’s new,” Lee said, but after 40 million hours of reliability testing, the tech promises to grant data centers and other users leading performance with the same energy bill.
Secure edge processing is also ushering in a new era of swift and safe computing, without draining power.
“The growth of our population, the number of devices and our demand for energy make it essential as a society that we focus on building more resilient and efficient infrastructure,” NXP senior vice president Andrew Hardy said. Computing on the edge allows real-time analytics without vexing latency, keeping people safe in complex systems like factories and securing data from bad actors.
Of course, none of this is possible without the hardware to support it. “Memory and storage are at the heart of the industry’s continued innovation,” Micron corporate vice president of the Consumer and Components Group Dinesh Bahal said, announcing Micron’s new Crucial P3 Plus consumer drive equipped with the company’s industry-leading 176-layer quad-level cell (QLC) NAND memory.
“We are at a unique and exciting time where technology has now evolved to a place where physical and virtual worlds are at a convergence tipping point,” Bahal said. The fascinating new things to be achieved at the meeting of these two worlds are just on the horizon.