The timing of the show is no
coincidence, as CE manufacturers time new product introductions right
after the holiday shopping season and Boxing Day clearances. CES is a
dream for early adopters looking for the latest and greatest, but a
nightmare for the mainstream consumer who bought a new laptop or
other device that is now obsolete.
One of the biggest technologies we
are expecting to be used is SuperSpeed USB 3.0, which many
manufacturers have been talking to us about. The chips are now in
mass production, and many companies are looking to the updated
interface to outshine their competitors. Backwards compatibility is a
key factor, as you can future proof your product even if consumers
don't yet have a supporting motherboard. However, companies
like ASUS and Gigabyte have already put USB 3.0 controllers on
their motherboards, and we expect to see many types of PCIe-based
adapters for under $50.
A few companies that make external
enclosures for hard drives have already announced support for the USB
3.0 interface, and we should see them demonstrated at CES. Seagate
and Western Digital may also show new external drives with USB 3.0
Super Talent was the first to
introduce a USB
3.0 flash drive, but we know that companies such as Corsair are
working on their own versions. We might see some other peripherals as
well, such as a webcam that takes advantage of the bandwidth to shoot
video at 1920x1080 at 60 frames per second. Some new DisplayPort
monitors will be shown as well, some of which might use VIA's new
VL810 SuperSpeed Hub Controller to provide additional ports.
There were many Solid State Drives
shown last year, and we expect more of the same this year. We should
see some demos of Micron's C300 using the new 6Gbps SATA interface,
as well as the next-generation Vertex
2 SSD from OCZ Technology. New offerings from Super Talent,
Patriot, and Corsair are also expected.
There will be a slew of computer
launches based around new Intel CPUs and chipsets that were
announced. Netbooks will be a hot topic as usual, with many new
built using the Pine Trail platform. It features the new
Pineview Atom chip, which reduces power consumption
dramatically be integrating the memory controller and graphics chip
onto the CPU die. Greater battery life is expected for this new
generation of netbooks.
Intel provided details
of its first 32nm CPUs yesterday. Clarkdale and Arrandale
are desktop and mobile variants of the Westmere architecture.
They move the graphics off the Northbridge as well, but due to
manufacturing constraints are placed on their own separate 45nm die.
These new chips will be targeted at mainstream consumers, and will
lower costs for the OEMs that produce them.
New CPUs mean new chipsets, and new
chipsets mean new motherboards. Intel is introducing seven new
chipsets for desktop and laptop PCs, and the big players like ASUS,
Gigabyte, and MSI are ready with their new models. The enthusiast
class mobos will feature USB 3.0 and 6Gbps SATA support, but mid
range models might see some action as well.
DailyTech will be attending Storage Visions today as
well, along with participants from the traditional HDD industry and
new SSD companies. We hope to dig up more information on new storage
The occasional updates will be available