LAS VEGAS – While finished products get most of the attention at the annual CES consumer electronics show, “ingredient technologies” are the unsung heroes, setting the stage for exciting new devices and services in the years ahead.
[ibd-display-video id=3076727 width=50 float=left autostart=true] Two of those “ingredient technologies” being touted at CES 2018 are 5G wireless and artificial intelligence, officials say.
“5G and AI are heralds for the coming data age,” said Steve Koenig, senior director of research for the Consumer Technology Association, owner and sponsor of CES, which opened Tuesday and runs through Friday. “CES is going to set the pace for that.”
5G boasts fiber-like data speeds, low latency and the ability to support unlimited data plans. It will fuel new services and technologies such as the Internet of Things, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles and smart cities.
With today’s 4G wireless networks, consumers can download a two-hour movie in 6 minutes. With 5G that will take 3.6 seconds, Koenig said, going at speeds of 10 gigabits per second vs. 100 megabits per second with 4G.
Wireless operators such as AT&T ( T ), Verizon ( VZ ) and China Mobile ( CHL ) are beginning to deploy 5G networks. Wireless-communications chip maker Qualcomm ( QCOM ) is using CES to boast about its 5G expertise. Qualcomm shares were up fractionally Thursday to 65.43.
Qualcomm is well positioned to continue its dominance in wireless chips because of the increasing complexity of mobile radio frequency chips and its ability to support numerous RF bands in devices, Qualcomm President Cristiano Amon said at a media briefing Monday. 5G will see an order of magnitude increase in combinations of wireless frequency bands vs. the current 4G standard, he said.
“5G is a great, exciting opportunity because it is going to be a reality sooner than everybody thought,” Amon said. “We are going to get 5G into a smartphone as early as 2019.”
At CES, Qualcomm announced a series of RF front-end chip design wins with Alphabet’s ( GOOGL ) Google, HTC, LG, Samsung and Sony (SNE) for new flagship smartphones.
Artificial intelligence is another ingredient technology showing up in more products at CES 2018. Devices infused with AI have the ability to anticipate a person’s needs based on their past behavior and preferences.
Consumer electronics vendors Samsung and LG Electronics announced plans at CES to add intelligence to all of their devices, from TVs to household appliances.
Nvidia (NVDA) is promoting its graphics processing units for AI computing at CES. Speaking at a press event Sunday, Nvidia Chief Executive Jensen Huang said the technology is going to “revolutionize” many industries. Already AI is enabling software to write software and is playing a critical role in self-driving cars, image and speech recognition and other areas, Huang said.
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