Las Vegas will be home to CES 2011 again and the upbeat economy is pushing excitement. This year's show will not disappoint. Not all products will survive but there will a lot to choose from.
The latest in cellphones, tablets, e-readers, laptops and PCs will be on display. Android will be making its big splash in the tablet arena. Products like the Archos 32 palm tablet (Fig. 1) with a 3.2-in screen blur the boundary between tablets, video players and cell phones. It has WiFi and Bluetooth support along with a camera and microphone. The challenge will be finding the differences between products on display like the Archos 32. The newest HDTVs will be sporting RF4CE remote controls, 3D and Internet support. HDTV wireless connectivity will be moving from the back rooms to the main floor.
What we will be looking for, though, will be the latest technology under the hood. For example, iOne's System-on-Chip (SoC) (see Processor Enables Android-Based Cameras) will be showing up in Android devices incorporating one or more cameras. The chip (Fig. 2) incorporates HD processing for streaming video and for video capture. Another is Nufront's 40nm NuSmart 2816 (see 2GHz Dual Core Cortex-A9 Targets Tablets). It delivers a pair of Arm Cortex-A9 MPCore cores that will likely host Android as well.
Multicore microprocessors and microcontrollers will be cropping up everywhere. Intel's Sandy Bridge and crop of Atoms will be inside the latest PCs, laptops, tablets and embedded applicances. AMD's eBrazos and VIA Technology's Nano will find a home in competing products. Xi3's Modular Computer (Fig. 3) will be on display as well. It measures less than 4-in on a side and houses a 64-bit AMD x86 dual core processor while consuming less than 20W. The three board stack includes the processor board and two peripheral boards with HDMI outputs.
Storage will continue to follow the trends from last year. Flash and SSD use continues to grow. Products like SanDisk's iSSD (see SATA Flash On A Chip) and Intel's SSD 310 (see Tiny SSDs for Embedded Designers) target board-level storage.
USB 3.0 will be more readily available on motherboards and mobile devices as well as hard drives. Large hard drives can hold lots of HDTV movies but getting them there remains problematic. There will be no shortage of encrypted hard drives either. They will be showing up in corporate laptops, desktops and even servers.
Healthcare is one area that will be showing more activity in CES. Better sensors, low power micros and wireless connectivity are making healthcare products more practical. There are standards in the works so many items on display are forward looking. I expect more concrete product announcements next year.