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Predictions for 2020?

15 January 2020

At the beginning of each year I try to dust off my crystal ball and see if I can make some prophet-like predictions as to the year ahead in tech.

Let's see what 2020 may have in store.

Firstly, I'm pretty sure that the sales of EVs will surprise everyone by exceeding all predictions.

One of my good friends has always been a staunch Holden fan and has rushed out to buy the latest performance version of the V8 oil-burner every time a new one is released.

He just sold his near-new Holden and bought a Tesla Model 3.

What's more, there's no sign of buyer remorse and he's absolutely stoked with what the Tesla is delivering, both in terms of performance, range and running costs.

If this guy is kicking fossil-fuels to the curb then the writing is clearly on the wall.

In the area of computer tech I'm expecting to see some rather impressive systems being rolled out with high-core-count CPUs. AMD have certainly changed the game in this area with their new Ryzen and Threadripper processors.

Although it's still perfectly fine, my i7 8700 machine from just a couple of years ago is now a veritable sloth when compared to the latest offerings that are catching my eye. It's almost guaranteed that I'll be stepping up to a Ryzen 3900 (or better) machine before year's end and all those cores will come in super-handy when editing video.

What a shame that there doesn't seem to be as much new light on the horizon in the area of GPUs.

The AMD Navi series are so far, to be brutally honest, a bit disappointing. Although they're using 7nm tech, they're really a mid-range option and with the elimination of the Radeon VII, AMD is really a bit short-staffed in the high-end GPU market. NVIDIA really do have the content-creator market sewn up with their RTX2000 series and the 2080ti remains the "go to" card for video editing purposes. Unfortunately, due to a lack of competition from AMD, these cards remain uber-expensive even in the wake of the crypto-mining decline.

Internet of Things? Whatever happened to that?

Just like "the year of the Net", the IOT seems to be undergoing a very slow gestation and despite the promises, we're not seeing the IP-space littered with tiny devices all spewing out data or waiting for commands from our smartphones. This is a good thing because, as we've seen, security in the IOT-space has been pretty bad and billions of exploited devices would make for some powerful DDOS attacks.

I predict that the IOT will continue to grow far more slowly than its proponents would have us believe.

Artificial Intelligence seems to have "peaked" for the time-being. In fact I've seen articles suggesting that we're headed for an "AI Winter" as reality catches up with hyperbole and we realise that although AI can do some stuff really well, it's really not as smart as some would have us think.

Internet by satellite looks set to make a come-back, at least if the providers of such services (eg: Elon Musk's StarLink) are to be believed. The use of LEO satellites rather than geostationary birds looks set to mitigate the original problem of high latency but I expect that there will still be issues with bandwidth, atmospheric distruption and other things that don't affect non-RF-based solutions. As systems like StarLink grow however, there will be strong uptake in rural regions and other parts which can not be economically serviced by other means.

5G - will that be a thing in 2020?

The telcos are promising us that 5G will change the face of personal digital communications by providing huge amounts of bandwidth with almost ubiquitous coverage.

Cue Tui's ad.

During 2020, 5G coverage will be patchy at best and one really has to ask whether having fibre-like speeds is really going to make a difference when you're checking a few emails or sending the occasional tweet from your phone. Let's also not forget that the phobia-brigade will be out in force, trying to convince us that 5G radiation will fry our gentleman's parts and rot our brains from the inside out. Sadly, many of the public will believe this and that may further slow the adoption of the tech.

Well that's enough from me... what do readers expect they'll encounter in the 12 months ahead? What will be big and what will be a disappointment in the tech sector?

To the forums with ye!

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