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Computex 2019: What We Anticipate to See

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The previous noticed in regards to the venerable Computex? In any given yr, you may see sprouts of know-how at this main worldwide commerce present that present up, full-grown, in retailers over the following 5 or 10 years. So…whats up, 2020s!

Subsequent week, PCMag might be on web site in Taipei to see the long run. However we have already received a fairly good concept of what is more likely to go down in Taiwan—and what it means for the merchandise and applied sciences that can drive our world over the following decade. Let’s check out what we predict they’re.

First…What Is Computex?

Computex is a big computing-centric commerce present—today centered on core PC know-how, AI, and IoT—second in dimension solely to the mammoth, US-based CES. It is each a world platform for product and core-technology launches and a large procurement venue for connecting producers with distributors, and part makers with integrators.

This yr’s Computex runs from Tuesday, Might 28, to Saturday, June 1, with the final day of the present historically open to the general public. The Monday earlier than (Might 27) is, as ever, laden with press-only occasions and press conferences.

It takes place in Taipei, Taiwan, at quite a lot of venues, however the coronary heart is on the monumental Nangang Exhibition Heart within the east of town (that is it above), and in quite a lot of places across the well-known Taipei 101 skyscraper: within the constructing itself, on the Taiwan Worldwide Convention Heart (TICC), on the Taiwan World Commerce Heart (TWTC), and in Taiwan’s Grand Hyatt and varied different resorts.

Computex TICC

The Monday “press day” earlier than Computex opens usually sees the massive information break, and the primary Tuesday of the present sees further high-profile launches and bulletins.

Chips, Chips, and Extra Chips, Half I: AMD Takes Heart Stage

On Monday, Might 27, AMD’s Dr. Lisa Su will kick off the present along with her opening keynote on the TICC round 10 a.m. Taipei time. Computex’s conventional “chip kick-off” is Intel’s standard Tuesday afternoon press convention, so this AMD inversion is certainly a giant deal for the core-silicon underdog, and a press release on the state of the 2 chip corporations in 2019.

What’s going to Dr. Su speak about? For starters, rumors have been circulating for a while round how AMD’s introduced “Zen 2” structure and third-generation Ryzen CPUs (codenamed “Matisse”) will take type. Dr. Su demonstrated an early pattern of third-gen Ryzen at CES 2019, and these 7nm-based chips promise to be a complete new ballgame versus the 12nm Zen+ that got here earlier than. At CES, Dr. Su additionally touted the chips’ relative vitality effectivity—not a conventional AMD robust swimsuit.

AMD Dr Lisa Su

The 7nm process-technology leap, which AMD truly rolled out in transport product in its AMD Radeon VII video card earlier this yr, can be fairly the achievement in opposition to chip large Intel, which has seen quite a few delays in rolling out CPUs primarily based on its “simply” 10nm (“Ice Lake”) course of tech. Varied rumor-minded websites have posited early seems to be and leaks at 12-core/24-thread and 16-core/32-thread Ryzen 3000 chips. If true, that can put the highest Ryzen 3000s in the identical core/thread zone as not solely Intel’s enthusiast- and creator-minded X299 chips however within the wheelhouse of AMD’s mighty Ryzen Threadripper line of CPUs.

What does that imply for Threadripper and its X399 platform, given the silence round that chip line within the run-up to Computex? Perhaps we’ll know extra subsequent week.

After all, new chips imply the chance of numerous new motherboards. AMD has professed backward compatibility for its new chips throughout older AM4-based motherboards via 2020, however the rumor and leak mill has made clear that the debut of ostensible “X570” chipset motherboards will accompany the brand new Ryzens. And the brand new platform will convey on compatibility with PCI Categorical four.Zero, which AMD has publicly mentioned. (Extra on that in a second.)

Chips, Chips, and Extra Chips, Half II: Intel as Underdog?

Now, the relative gross sales volumes and the sizes of AMD versus Intel as corporations have not drastically modified. However this Computex sees Intel coming in on one thing of a defensive posture, at the least on the consumer-tech aspect of issues, extra so than we have seen for some time.

Intel will maintain its conventional keynote on Tuesday, Might 28, headlined by Gregory Bryant, the corporate’s senior VP of shopper computing. What he’ll speak about is up within the air. We do count on information on the much-delayed 10nm “Ice Lake” chips, presumably debuting as laptop computer components first. What’s going to occur on the desktop aspect is one other story, although.

Intel Press Conference Computex

We would not count on information on 10nm/10th Technology Core for desktops but, and the state of Intel’s fanatic “HEDT” (high-end desktop) line—the Core X-Sequence that works with the X299 chipset—is up within the air. We have not seen copious leaks or teases concerning new fanatic motherboards on the Intel aspect, or credible rumors of a brand new chipset to succeed the X299. The speak is that “Cascade Lake-X”—the successor to “Skylake-X” chips just like the Core i9-7960X and more moderen monsters just like the “Basin Falls” Core i9-9980XE Excessive Version—can be the 2019 subsequent step in that area, and are seeing their first iterations as latest Xeon releases for server and workstation customers.

However the timing on client Cascade Lake-X is one other query fully. Computex would make an awesome venue for such a counterpunch, particularly if 16-core Ryzens might be within the offing. Nevertheless it’s anybody’s guess whether or not Intel’s Bryant will pull a rabbit out of his silicon hat for fans and creators across the desktop. And whether or not it can contain an all-new platform or only a rev of the Intel LGA 2066/X299 gear that has powered the final two units of Intel HEDT stays to be seen.

GPUs: Navi and Xe, When Will We See You?

At Computex, Intel is internet hosting an “Intel Odyssey” occasion. Odyssey is an initiative round which Intel goals to construct a fanbase and fanatic group centered on its upcoming “Xe” devoted graphics processors, anticipated to debut in 2020. We might count on some teases on progress towards Xe, however we suspect that agency Xe information (or perhaps a Xe rollout) might be extra of a Computex 2020 factor. This present will simply be the primary main acceleration of the Xe hype practice, we suspect.

Intel Graphics Card Shroud

AMD, although, ought to have extra of a story to inform. Subsequent-gen “Navi” primarily based GPUs are coming this yr in Q3 (which may imply as quickly as July, or late as September). Dr. Su’s keynote, we suspect, will reveal quite a lot of particulars on the upcoming GPUs, and it is attainable that the primary accomplice playing cards could get teased on the present. Nevertheless, with the most important E3 commerce present developing in June, and with AMD’s graphics-component ties to the gaming-console world, it is attainable that the actual Navi skinny will not be made public till then. Nevertheless, with the tech world’s eyes centered on Taipei subsequent week, we would count on some concrete particulars to construct momentum round Navi.

Will Nvidia take a product-release breather at present given its relentless launch of Turing GPUs for the desktop, and now its rollout of GeForce GTX 1650 and GTX 1660 Ti fashions for laptops? It is anybody’s guess. Nvidia’s Monday three p.m. (Taiwan time) press convention (headlined by CEO Jensen Huang) is the most important wildcard of the present, although we suspect it can heart extra on AI than PC stuff.

Jensen Huang

However…simply as we wrote this, Nvidia teased one thing obscure and video-card associated; it might be the rumored tweaked variations of its GeForce Turing playing cards, which can uptick GPU or video reminiscence…

This might be a tactical response to AMD’s bulletins round Navi. Monday simply received much more fascinating. And it was already going to be fascinating.

PCI Categorical four.Zero: The Bus Rushing Into the 2020s

So this is the factor: We all know it is coming, and AMD did communicate of it publicly. However what kinds will next-gen PCI Categorical soak up launch hardware close to time period? It is unclear. The Computex rumor mills have not hit on this very exhausting.

Computex Show Floor

First, the context in a nutshell: Extra bandwidth on each the PCI Categorical slots that drive video playing cards and the PCI Categorical-based M.2 slots that feed at this time’s highest-speed SSDs can have implications for each markets. However for the second, the information we have heard about PCI Categorical four.Zero has been on the AMD aspect of the aisle. We might count on that the approaching next-gen AMD motherboards (ostensibly the rumored X570s) to have full PCI Categorical four.Zero assist, presumably on the M.2 and a few or all PCI Categorical slots. Early studies have indicated that PCI Categorical four.Zero requires extra sturdy traces on PCBs over longer journey distances, so board designs might be fascinating to see. For instance, will all slots characteristic four.Zero assist?

Will Computex showcase the primary hardware that really makes use of four.Zero speeds? We would not count on something on the video card entrance for now (the spec will certainly be backward-compatible), however we would not be stunned to see the primary client PCI Categorical four.Zero-compatible M.2 SSDs demoed.

Laptop computer Land: Athena, ninth Gen, Ryzen…Extra?

Asus, MSI, and Gigabyte are the three massive laptop computer gamers at Computex most years, and we totally count on the standard large cadre of latest machines. Acer can be a Taiwan agency, nevertheless it dropped a megaton of latest machines in its world press occasion a couple of weeks again, so we would count on a quiet Computex from that firm. In recent times, Dell has rolled out a couple of machines on the present, as effectively, and we would count on some motion provided that the corporate can have an offsite press presence. Given Asus’ Venture Precog prototype from 2018’s Computex, we’re hoping that this out-there design proves to be greater than only a cool idea demo.

CES 2019’s chatter round Intel’s Venture Athena is certain to be a part of the Computex dialog. This Intel initiative, which goals to boost the marketplace for thin-and-light machines that additionally supply distinctive battery life, is supposed to be a multi-year roadmap for laptop computer makers and will outline the machines of the 2020s. We might count on extra element there. The codename verbiage round a number of the enabling silicon might be “Lakefield,” a mix of “Sunny Cove” CPU cores and Atom CPU cores utilizing a brand new packaging know-how, permitting for small mainboards that enable for reduced-size chassis designs. Potential allusions to foldable-screen machines round Lakefield appear to be coming to the floor in machines just like the foldable prototype that Lenovo confirmed off at an occasion of its personal final week. (Thoughts you, Lenovo did not share what precisely was in that machine, solely that it was Intel silicon.)

Foldable, But Not Particularly Sleek

That stated, on a nearer-term word, we would count on to see loads of laptop computer refreshes round Intel’s H-series “Espresso Lake” cell CPUs and, if 10nm Ice Lake certainly involves move, some bulletins across the first of those machines. Additionally, given the content material of Asus’ New York Metropolis press occasion from a couple of weeks again, we would count on to see extra OEMs experimenting with Ryzen-based laptop computer fashions, as Asus is doing in a number of machines in its ROG Zephyrus G and TUF gaming laptop computer strains.

The Qualcomm 8cx-Issue

Qualcomm, too, might be holding a Computex occasion (satirically proper on prime of Nvidia’s) at which, amongst different issues, we would count on extra particulars on its Snapdragon 8cx cell chip platform—possibly even an official rollout of the primary machines. The corporate’s silicon, integrating 5G cell applied sciences, energy effectivity, and—maybe in Snapdragon 8cx—aggressive productiveness efficiency, may effectively exert a squeeze to Intel from one aspect in cell silicon. AMD’s Ryzen Cellular chips, that are getting laptop computer design wins in a approach we’ve not seen from AMD shortly, are already making use of strain from the opposite. That stated, uptake on early Snapdragon-for-Home windows designs has been gradual.

For sure, the PCMag crew might be sleepless in Taipei rounding up and reporting the important thing stuff and the cool asides from 2019’s Computex subsequent week. Control our web site and our feeds for the most recent as our prognostications get confirmed, quashed, and expanded upon. Subsequent week defines the long run.


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