(Source: CEA)
New tech to make the stuff you just bought obsolete

Frequent readers of DailyTech are probably aware of the annual International Consumer Electronics Show, most commonly referred to simply as "CES". The show is only open to members of the press and Consumer Electronics industry, but is still one of the largest trade shows in the world. It officially opens on Thursday, but there are a few press events today and tomorrow.

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 support.

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 models 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 products.

The occasional updates will be available via Twitter.

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer

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