Computer trends 2017

I did not have time to post my computer technologies predictions t the ends of 2016. Because I missed the year end deadline, I though that there is no point on posting anything before the news from CES 2017 have been published. Here are some of myck picks on the current computer technologies trends:

CES 2017 had 3 significant technology trends: deep learning goes deep, Alexa everywhere and Wi-Fi gets meshy. The PC sector seemed to be pretty boring.

Gartner expects that IT sales will growth (2.7%) but hardware sales will not have any growth – can drop this year. TEKsystems 2017 IT forecast shows IT budgets rebounding from a slump in 2016, and IT leaders’ confidence high going into the new year. But challenges around talent acquisition and organizational alignment will persist. Programming and software development continue to be among the most crucial and hard-to-find IT skill sets.

Smart phones sales (expected to be 1.89 billion) and PC sales (expected to be 432 million) do not grow in 2017. According to IDC PC shipments declined for a fifth consecutive year in 2016 as the industry continued to suffer from stagnation and lack of compelling drivers for upgrades. Both Gartner and IDC estimated that PC shipments declined about 6% in 2016.Revenue in the traditional (non-cloud) IT infrastructure segment decreased 10.8 per cent year over year in the third quarter of 2016. Only PC category that has potential for growth is ultramobile (includes Microsoft Surface ja Apple MacBook Air). Need for memory chips is increasing.

Browser suffers from JavaScript-creep disease: This causes that the browing experience seems to be become slower even though computer and broadband connections are getting faster all the time. Bloat on web pages has been going on for ages, and this trend seems to continue.

Microsoft tries all it can to make people to switch from older Windows versions to Windows 10. Microsoft says that continued usage of Windows 7 increases maintenance and operating costs for businesses as malware attacks that could have been avoided by upgrading to Windows 10. Microsoft says that continued usage of Windows 7 increases maintenance and operating costs for businesses. Microsoft: Windows 7 Does Not Meet the Demands of Modern Technology; Recommends Windows 10. On February 2017 Microsoft stops the 20 year long tradition of monthly security updates. Windows 10 “Creators Update” coming early 2017 for free, featuring 3D and mixed reality, 4K gaming, more.

Microsoft plans to emulate x86 instructions on ARM chips, throwing a compatibility lifeline to future Windows tablets and phones. Microsoft’s x86 on ARM64 Emulation is coming in 2017. This capability is coming to Windows 10, though not until “Redstone 3″ in the Fall of 2017

Parents should worry less about the amount of time their children spend using smartphones, computers and playing video games because screen time is actually beneficial, the University of Oxford has concluded. 257 minutes is the time teens can spend on computers each day before harming wellbeing.

Outsourcing IT operations to foreign countries is not trendy anymore and companied live at uncertain times. India’s $150 billion outsourcing industry stares at an uncertain future. In the past five years, revenue and profit growth for the top five companies listed on the BSE have halved. Industry leader TCS too felt the impact as it made a shift in business model towards software platforms and chased digital contacts.

Containers will become hot this year and cloud will stay hot. Research firm 451 Research predicts this year containerization will be US $ 762 million business and that Containers will become 2.6 billion worth of software business in 2020. (40 per cent a year growth rate).

Cloud services are expected to have  22 percent annual growth rate. By 2020, the sector would grow from the current 22.2 billion to $ 46 billion. In Finland 30% of companies now prefer to buy cloud services when buying IT (20 per cent of IT budget goes to cloud).Cloud spend to make up over a third of IT budgets by 2017. Cloud and hosting services will be responsible for 34% of IT budgets by 2017, up from 28% by the end of 2016, according to 451 Research. Cloud services have many advantages, but cloud services have also disadvantages. In five years, SaaS will be the cloud that matters.

When cloud is growing, so is the spending on cloud hardware by the cloud companies. Cloud hardware spend hits US$8.4bn/quarter, as traditional kit sinks – 2017 forecast to see cloud kit clock $11bn every 90 daysIn 2016′s third quarter vendor revenue from sales of infrastructure products (server, storage, and Ethernet switch) for cloud IT, including public and private cloud, grew by 8.1 per cent year over year to $8.4 billion. Private cloud accounted for $3.3 billion with the rest going to public clouds. Data centers need lower latency components so Google Searches for Better Silicon.

The first signs of the decline and fall of the 20+ year x86 hegemony will appear in 2017. The availability of industry leading fab processes will allow other processor architectures (including AMD x86, ARM, Open Power and even the new RISC-V architecture) to compete with Intel on a level playing field.

USB-C will now come to screens – C-type USB connector promises to really become the only all equipment for the physical interface.The HDMI connection will be lost from laptops in the future. Thunderbolt 3 is arranged to work with USB Type-C,  but it’s not the same thing (Thunderbolt is four times faster than USB 3.1).

World’s first ‘exascale’ supercomputer prototype will be ready by the end of 2017, says China

It seems that Oracle Begins Aggressively Pursuing Java Licensing Fees in 2017. Java SE is free, but Java SE Suite and various flavors of Java SE Advanced are not. Oracle is massively ramping up audits of Java customers it claims are in breach of its licences – six years after it bought Sun Microsystems. Huge sums of money are at stake. The version of Java in contention is Java SE, with three paid flavours that range from $40 to $300 per named user and from $5,000 to $15,000 for a processor licence. If you download Java, you get everything – and you need to make sure you are installing only the components you are entitled to and you need to remove the bits you aren’t using.

Your Year in Review, Unsung Hero article sees the following trends in 2017:

  • A battle between ASICs, GPUs, and FPGAs to run emerging workloads in artificial intelligence
  • A race to create the first generation of 5G silicon
  • Continued efforts to define new memories that have meaningful impact
  • New players trying to take share in the huge market for smartphones
  • An emerging market for VR gaining critical mass

Virtual Reality Will Stay Hot on both PC and mobile.“VR is the heaviest heterogeneous workload we encounter in mobile—there’s a lot going on, much more than in a standard app,” said Tim Leland, a vice president for graphics and imaging at Qualcomm. The challenges are in the needs to calculate data from multiple sensors and respond to it with updated visuals in less than 18 ms to keep up with the viewer’s head motions so the CPUs, GPUs, DSPs, sensor fusion core, display engine, and video-decoding block are all running at close to full tilt.

 


864 Comments

  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    HTC Vive Focus is a standalone VR headset with ‘world-scale’ tracking
    No PC nor base stations required for this 6DoF VR device.
    https://www.engadget.com/2017/11/13/htc-vive-focus-standalone-vr-headset-daydream/

    After a couple of teases earlier this year, HTC has finally unveiled its upcoming standalone VR headset at today’s Vive Developer Conference in Beijing. Dubbed the Vive Focus, this all-in-one device features inside-out 6-degree-of-freedom (6DoF) “world-scale” tracking, meaning it doesn’t require external base stations nor sensors, so you can get positional tracking anywhere at any time — even on a train or plane, should you wish to. While at least a couple of Chinese manufacturers have announced standalone 6DoF VR headsets before, HTC claims that the Focus will be the first of such kind to actually hit the market.

    “Now you can essentially do most of the things that you could do on a high-end machine on a standalone.”

    We already knew that the Focus packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 with instant on support, and now we’re told that it also features a “high-resolution” AMOLED screen plus a rotational head strap that’s similar to the Vive’s Deluxe Audio Strap. Perhaps the only surprising bit of info is that the Focus comes with a 3DoF controller, though I was assured that it will still give “a very good experience” when paired with the 6DoF headset.

    But that’s not to say that developers can’t add 6DoF hand input to the Focus.

    Reply
  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    All Major Browsers Now Support WebAssembly
    https://news.slashdot.org/story/17/11/13/2338215/all-major-browsers-now-support-webassembly

    “It took only two years for all browser vendors to get on the same page regarding the new WebAssembly standard, and as of October 2017, all major browsers support it,”

    Project spearheads Firefox and Chrome were the first major browsers to graduate WebAssembly from preview versions to their respective stable branches over the summer. The second wave followed in the following weeks when Chromium-based browsers like Opera and Vivaldi also rolled out the feature as soon as it was added to the Chromium stable version. The last ones to ship WebAssembly in the stable branches were Apple in Safari 11.0 and Microsoft in Microsoft Edge (EdgeHTML 16)

    http://webassembly.org/

    Reply
  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Firefox Quantum arrives with faster browser engine, major visual overhaul, and Google as default search engine
    https://venturebeat.com/2017/11/14/firefox-quantum-arrives-with-faster-browser-engine-major-visual-overhaul-and-google-as-default-search-engine/

    Mozilla today launched Firefox 57, branded Firefox Quantum, for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. The new version, which Mozilla calls “by far the biggest update since Firefox 1.0 in 2004,” brings massive performance improvements and a visual redesign.

    The Quantum name signals that Firefox 57 is a huge release that incorporates the company’s next-generation browser engine (Project Quantum). The goal is to make Firefox the fastest and smoothest browser for PCs and mobile devices — the company has previously promised that users can expect “some big jumps in capability and performance” through the end of the year. Indeed, three of the four past releases (Firefox 53, Firefox 54, and Firefox 55) included Quantum improvements. But those were just the tip of the iceberg.

    Reply
  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    10 cloud mistakes that can sink your business
    https://www.cio.com/article/3237168/cloud-computing/10-cloud-mistakes-that-can-sink-your-business.html

    The cloud offers a wide range of tangible business benefits, but don’t let these common blunders cast a shadow on your company’s success.

    “The sun always shines above the clouds,” optimists enjoy telling us. What they fail to mention is that beneath the clouds there’s often high winds, torrential downpours, lightning and the occasional golf-ball-size hail bombardment.

    Reply
  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Intel-Micron scrap the summer diet, enlarge 3D XPoint mem DIMM fab
    Size does matter… especially when you’ve got launch deadlines to hit
    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/11/16/intel_micron_3d_xpoint/

    Intel and Micron have expanded their XPoint production fab in Utah, USA, as the clock ticks down to the launch of XPoint DIMMs in the second half of 2018.

    3D XPoint is the Intel-Micron solid-state storage technology that’s a little faster and more expensive than NAND, and not as fast nor as expensive as DRAM. The point of it is to provide bit-addressable nonvolatile capacity greater than typical RAM banks with access times faster than NAND. It available in drive form, but not yet as system memory DIMMs.

    Today’s first-generation chips have two layers, and Intel has just announced a 750GB Optane drive using them. Micron has its own QuantX brand of 3D XPoint products, but so far hasn’t actually got any shipping gear.

    “We are going to apply this 3D XPoint technology in the data center with DIMMs that operate much like memory DIMMs, DRAM DIMMs, do today starting in [the second half of] 2018.”

    Reply
  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Pentagon is set to make a big push toward open source software next year
    The Pentagon is a software-intensive workplace
    https://www.theverge.com/2017/11/14/16649042/pentagon-department-of-defense-open-source-software

    “Open source” is the industry term for using publicly accessible code, published for all to see and read. It’s contrasted with “closed source” or “proprietary” code, which a company guards closely as a trade secret. Open source, by its nature, is a shared tool, much more like creative commons than copyright. One big advantage is that, often, the agreements to run open-source software are much more relaxed than those behind proprietary code, and come without licensing fees. The license to run a copy of Adobe Photoshop for a year is $348; the similar open-source GNU Image Manipulation Program is free.

    We don’t typically think of the Pentagon as a software-intensive workplace, but we absolutely should. The Department of Defense is the world’s largest single employer, and while some of that work is people marching around with rifles and boots, a lot of the work is reports, briefings, data management, and just managing the massive enterprise. Loading slides in PowerPoint is as much a part of daily military life as loading rounds into a magazine.

    Reply
  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    When should you turn to open source cloud?
    http://www.cloudpro.co.uk/cloud-essentials/public-cloud/7044/when-should-you-turn-to-open-source-cloud

    Proprietary cloud proliferates, but open source is often the better option

    It seems that not a day passes without news of a big win for AWS or Azure, raising the prospect that open source cloud efforts are paling into insignificance; but are they?

    According to Al Sadowski, research VP of Infrastructure at 451 Research, there’s been no slowdown in open source, generally speaking.

    “Cloud Foundry is the standard-bearer for open source PaaS and Kubernetes for container management. NGINX is an open source load balancer that powers over 60% of the top 10,000 websites; AWS use it too. OpenStack is the de facto choice for an open source private cloud,” he says.

    But Sadowski adds that when it comes to market size, AWS’ revenue is greater than the next 200+ service providers combined.

    “It’s a runaway success by many measurements,” he says. “Everyone at AWS is rowing in the same direction in terms of product roadmap and development priorities. With open source, and namely OpenStack, this isn’t the case and some projects, like Neutron (networking), have suffered. Instead of trying to reinvent things like PaaS, container management and SDN, the OpenStack community was smart to change direction and instead embrace Cloud Foundry, Kubernetes, and OPNFV.”

    According to Paul Miller, senior analyst at Forrester, open source components are a key piece of any credible hyperscale cloud platform.

    “100% open source cloud projects, like OpenStack, have achieved significant traction in a number of areas,” he says. Miller adds that OpenStack, for example, is used by most large telecoms companies as a key part of their network modernisation initiatives.

    “OpenStack has also seen some success in the private cloud world,”

    Reply
  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google Created AIs That Can Teach and Program Themselves
    https://www.designnews.com/automation-motion-control/google-created-ais-can-teach-and-program-themselves/65133272757764?ADTRK=UBM&elq_mid=2059&elq_cid=876648

    Two breakthrough projects from Google – a new, self-taught version of the AlphaGo AI and AutoML, an algorithm capable of creating machine learning architectures – are pointing toward the next level of artificial intelligence.

    Expert Tells Robot Makers to Focus on the ‘Good’ of AI
    Eliminate hidden biases and concentrate on the social benefits, engineering prof tells attendees at ATX Minneapolis.
    https://www.designnews.com/automation-motion-control/expert-tells-robot-makers-focus-on-good-ai/31757978157809?ADTRK=UBM&elq_mid=2059&elq_cid=876648

    Reply
  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Uber Open-Sources Its AI Programming Language, Encourages Autonomous Car Development
    https://www.designnews.com/electronics-test/uber-open-sources-its-ai-programming-language-encourages-autonomous-car-development/3428305357816?ADTRK=UBM&elq_mid=2059&elq_cid=876648

    Uber, the popular ride sharing service, is moving to encourage AI research such as autonomous vehicle development by open-sourcing its own AI programming language, Pyro.

    Reply
  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Andrew Nusca / Fortune:
    Profile of Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang, who cofounded the firm and has maintained its 70% share of the GPU market as competition and demand explode, driven by AI

    This Man Is Leading an AI Revolution in Silicon Valley—And He’s Just Getting Started
    http://fortune.com/2017/11/16/nvidia-ceo-jensen-huang/

    The cofounder and CEO of semiconductor and software maker Nvidia saw the future of computing more than a decade ago, and began developing products that could power the artificial intelligence era. Thanks to that vision, and relentless execution, his chipmaker today is perhaps the hottest company in Silicon Valley. And it may just be getting started.

    Reply
  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Microsoft’s Visual Studio Live Share to improve developer collaboration
    http://www.zdnet.com/article/microsofts-visual-studio-live-share-to-improve-developer-collaboration/

    Microsoft plans to debut a new developer collaboration service in early 2018 that could make it easier for developers to work in tandem even when located remotely.

    Microsoft is offering a sneak peek today, November 15, of a coming Visual Studio service aimed to make developer collaboration more seamless.
    vsliveshare.jpg

    That service, known as Visual Studio Live Share, is expected to be one of the highlights of Day 1 of the company’s Connect(); developer conference in New York City.

    Microsoft won’t be making a preview of Visual Studio Live Share available for testing until early 2018. But officials are promising that developers will be able to use it to share projects with teammates or other developers, while maintaining full project context in a secure way.

    Reply
  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    A serious warning from Sweden: thousands of IT houses will disappear in the next few years

    The popularity of cloud services is hit badly in Sweden, writes Computer Sweden. According to an analyst interviewed by the magazine, up to one third of IT service providers may be lost in the next two years.

    Hans Werner , Managing Director of Radar Analyst, says dramatic changes will occur in the market.

    “found that about one in three companies are in danger, ”

    That means thousands of actors.

    “[Sweden] has about 400 companies with a turnover of 60-70 million SEK (6 to 7 million) and a large number of others who sell less.”

    Werner speaks of the “industrialization of the IT”, where traditional service providers do not succeed in the scalability offered by the larger, global players. Google, Amazon Web Services, IBM and Microsoft offer a completely different level of standardized service and mass production than smaller companies.

    “The transition from traditional industry to mass production took 250 years. It’s been born 40 years ago and is taking the same step now, “she says.

    According to Computer Sweden, cloud computing is not yet in full swing in Sweden. According to the magazine, only 2.9 percent of Swedish companies’ IT spending goes to general cloud services and just over half to large global operators.

    It remains to be seen what effect cloud cover is for Finnish service providers. According to a recent EU survey , Finnish companies use the most cloud services in the EU.

    Source: http://www.tivi.fi/Kaikki_uutiset/vakava-varoitus-ruotsista-tuhansia-it-taloja-katoaa-lahivuosina-6687952

    Reply
  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Antonio Scandurra / The GitHub Blog:
    GitHub introduces Teletype for Atom in beta, a feature for letting developers collaborate on code in real time in its Atom text editor

    Introducing Teletype for Atom: Code collaboratively in real time
    https://github.com/blog/2468-introducing-teletype-for-atom-code-collaboratively-in-real-time

    Writing code with other developers can be a great way to onboard teammates, get to know how your peers think, and learn new skills. Unfortunately, writing code together can be difficult to coordinate.

    Now social coding is easier than ever with Teletype for Atom—a new way to dive right into code with remote collaborators. Work together in real time with your own configurations in your own programming environment on any file you can open in Atom.

    Today we’re releasing the Teletype package in beta, but there’s so much more to come. Visit teletype.atom.io to start coding together in Atom today.

    https://teletype.atom.io/

    Reply
  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Why Do Today’s Server Applications Use 54-V BLDC Motors?
    http://www.electronicdesign.com/power/why-do-today-s-server-applications-use-54-v-bldc-motors?NL=ED-003&Issue=ED-003_20171117_ED-003_155&sfvc4enews=42&cl=article_1_b&utm_rid=CPG05000002750211&utm_campaign=14141&utm_medium=email&elq2=116e890a1d86456cbb711a1f2cd8b28c

    More server manufacturers are adopting 54-V brushless dc motors over traditional 12-V BLDCs to achieve significant savings on a couple of fronts.

    Cloud-based computing refers to a mesh of remote servers that stores and moves data around the world so that we can access via Wi-Fi, local-area network (LAN), or a cellular network.

    These remote servers act as a large storage device that consists of clusters of servers in a warehouse commonly referred to as a server farm. These server farms require a constant ambient temperature (optimal temperature range is between 68° and 71°F) to operate at their highest performance and to minimize any failure. They’re typically cooled by central air conditioning or heated with central heating depending on their location, just like a typical office space.

    Traditionally, server applications have used 12-V BLDC fans to cool the electronics in a cabinet. However, just like automotive applications, 54-V BLDC motors are being adapted for server applications for several reasons.

    Server manufacturers are adopting 54-V BLDC motors over traditional 12-V BLDC motors because it allows them to use one fourth of the current. In turn, motor manufacturers can use thinner ­­copper wire. This also enables motor manufacturers to reduce the size of the motor and, therefore, the overall cost of the motor

    For example, in a 450-W server, 32 W are consumed by the 12-V BLDC fans.

    One issue does emerge when dealing with the electronics that drive a 54-V BLDC fan motor: Server engineers can’t use the old 12-V hardware to drive 54-V motors. They’re required to use electronic components with a higher operating voltage that are suitable for a 54-V power supply with plenty of margin.

    Nonetheless, several hardware solutions on the market can help ease this transition.

    The MIC28514 converts the 54-V supply bus rail to a traditional 12-V power rail with better than 90% power efficiency. As a result, server engineers can continue to use the same motor-control algorithms and proven active components.

    These high-voltage devices make it feasible for server manufacturers to adopt 54-V power bus technology and, in turn, reduce overall system cost by utilizing smaller motors and less copper width on PCB boards and cabling.

    Reply

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