Here are his impressions, what he thinks about the consumer electronics show, the industry, Apple vs Google, and more.
Here are my predictions for 2012, consider some may still be wishful thinking. Cash and control by the CEOs often trumps the better ideas, inevitable developments are sometimes delayed.
- Mass manufacturing of ARM Powered Laptops that have a performance above Intel Atom netbooks, can satisfy most consumers running Android (with full Ubuntu-like Chrome browser running on NDK with lots of RAM), Chrome OS, Ubuntu and Windows 8. In the first half of the year, the processors can be OMAP4460 1.5Ghz, OMAP4470 1.8Ghz, Tegra3 1.3Ghz (higher frequencies if available), i.MX6-Quad, Qualcomm S4, Exynos Dual-1.5Ghz and Quad-core. In the second half of the year those may use ARM Cortex-A15 such as OMAP5, Exynos 5, Project Denver and others already.
- ARM Powered Google TV will take off. Starting from the HDMI output of every high-end Android phone, dedicated ARM Powered Google TV boxes can sell for as little as $50, can accelerate the adoption of mass market video-on-demand to the HDTV.
- The only hope for the HDTV industry is to mass manufacture Quad-HD 4K2K screens at 55″ and higher and sell them as soon as possible for sub-$5000 and later sub-$2000 prices. I think that upwards 400 million consumers would consider upgrading their HDTV to 55″ Quad-HD type if it can be sold below $2000. Quad-HD content comes from Hollywood as all movies are already digitized in Quad-HD for digital cinema distribution, and with h264 and WebM, Quad-HD movies can fit on Blu-ray disks, 40 4K movies can fit on a 2TB hard drive, 4K content can even be streamed over VDSL, Cable or Fiber to the home Internet connections which those same hundreds of millions of consumers already have or can have for cheap.
- White Spaces will create the biggest chaos in the telecom carrier industry as schemes for cheap White Spaces routers will be available, using the http://FON.com method, whole cities can be blanketed with free or very cheap high-speed wireless data. Every ADSL/Cable/Fiber user can connect the White Spaces routers and provide bandwidth for each whole neighborhoods. White Spaces can become the main worldwide standard wireless data network system to replace cellular, LTE, Wimax for the future.
- Sub-$100 Android phones will become the most popular smartphone category to be sold during the year. Sub-$100 Android phones will have the performance and capacitive usability of at least a Nexus One phone which was the best high-end phone in the world at the beginning of 2010. Without being too greedy for certain hardware features such as Super AMOLED HD, special metal casings, it is possible that high-end Android can be mass manufactured to be sold mostly for as little as $200-$300 unsubsidized for unlocked no-contract use. Expect some high-performance Dual-core phones with nice big capacitive screens and full ICS experiences to be sold below $200 unsubsidized for pre-paid plans soon for sure.
- Over 500 million smartphones to be sold, 90% of those Android. Over 100 million Tablets to be sold, more than 70% of those Android.
- Tablets with keyboard docks are basically laptops with touch screens and will replace most laptop sales. There will be fat and thin keyboard docks, some include batteries and ports while other are very thin keyboards that can be fixed magnetically or by hooks to cover the tablet to function as a thin screen protector. Keyboards remains the fastest way to input text and to be productive with a computing device.
- 7″ Tablets will be the most popular size excluding the keyboard docking tablets. Hundreds of millions of consumers will want to use a 7″ tablet in their jacket pockets when going outside. A 7″ tablet has a 2x to 3x larger screen surface area compared to a smartphone, offering a better experience for video playback, web browsing, games, apps and more.
- Wearable computing will take-off in several areas. From Android wrist watches, to head-mounted displays with augmented reality, to bluetooth headphones, controls that can be snapped to clothing. All can function using Bluetooth to synchronize and use the smartphone or 7″ tablet as the brain of the system. The headmounted display system can look like the Motorola Kopin Golden-i which I have used for the past 2 months for augmented video-blogging. Android wrist watches can be used to view notifications and interact with basic functions of Android such as initiating a call, checking updates and other basic features that may not necessitate to pull out the smartphone or 7″ tablet from the pocket.
- E-readers will be used for more than basic e-book reading. Using the Chrome-to-phone type functionality, users can click on articles on their laptop and have those instantly synchronize or beam to the e-reader, thus offering a secondary screen much more comfortable to use for article reading. Also collaborative real-time annotations will be the most powerful usage of e-readers for productivity in schools and businesses. Upwards more than 100 million e-readers can quickly be demanded as soon as effective collaborative annotation software and cloud services are available using a stylus. It’ll be the most popular way to collaborate on writing and reviewing documents for schools and business.
- ARM Cortex-A15 will be shown early 2012 with devices available on the market before the end of the year. Expect a performance as high as 4x that of current dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 devices.
- ARM Powered servers will be deployed in large deployments, it’s possible that Google and other cloud services companies start using ARM servers exclusively in whole new datacenters.
- Android@Home will take off, including embedded ARM Microcontrollers in all types of home appliances, in all electrical outlets, synchronizing all appliances with Android. This is the Internet of Things, we’re talking Billions of new ARM Powered devices to be sold every year.
- Stocks that are likely to collapse: Microsoft, Intel, Nokia, Apple, RIM, HP, Facebook, Twitter, Groupon, Zynga and more. By collapse I do not mean instant bankruptcies, but simply that their value may get halved quickly as soon as investors realize those companies don’t have much prospects for keeping the same levels of hype and profit margins that makes their current market cap.
- Microsoft does have a chance only if they pivot, it may require a new CEO and new board of directors. They need to stop focusing on proprietary software licencing and they need to use and support Android and focus on making profits on cloud services instead. Microsoft can have the resources to compete with Google on cloud services, it’s their only chance to stay highly valuable.
- Intel does have a chance only if they pivot, it may require a new CEO and a new board of directors. They need to licence the ARM architecture and use Intel’s semiconductor design and manufacturing facilities to try to make some of the better performance high-end ARM Processors, it’s possible Intel can make a very powerful ARMv8 and ARM Cortex-A15 variant and that could bring them a lot of business.
- Apple will still remain successful but they cannot remain a $376 Billion company. Right now, 65% of Apple’s profits comes only from the iPhone. We’ve already established that it’s very unlikely Apple can grow that profit stream from the iPhone as sub-$100 Android phones are to be the most popular smartphone category worldwide. I think it’s very unlikely that Apple can find a new cash cow to keep as high level of profits and when investors figure that out, the value of Apple on the stock market can be halved quickly.
- Nokia’s only chance is to use Android as soon as possible. Same for RIM and HP. But if they insist on being stubborn, they can only go towards collapse.
- All software patent lawsuits are all going to be cancelled and dismissed. It is a worthless strategy of Apple, Microsoft and Oracle to try to sue Android companies on bogus software patents. The Android companies combined have many more patents which they can use defensively and are much more powerful than any of these proprietary platform providers regardless of how many patent trolls each of them can hire to try to extract bans, reporting on these patent lawsuits is and will remain a waste of time. All bloggers need to understand that none of these patent lawsuits are at all relevant. Most of these patents can easily be proven to be worthless simply by showing prior-art to the courts, in nearly all cases there is prior-art that can be shown, simply, stop talking and thinking about it. It’ll turn out to have been the biggest waste of time for everyone involved in writing and reading tech blogs in 2011.
- Google+ can overtake Facebook. All Google+ needs to near-instantly overtake Facebook are some features to filter and recommend items to each user based on the +1 ratings that people can do on Google+ and all over the web. Basically, expect Google+ to replace your Google News, Google Reader, Twitter, Facebook, Techmeme, Groupon, IMDB, Skype, Baboo it even might become the main way to generate personalized YouTube playlists.
- Consumer 4K2K Quad-HD camcorders to be sold below $2000 are possible. This may be put investments people have put into Red cameras to risk. Basically new sub-$2000 DSLR and camcorders can include 4K2K Quad-HD video recording simply by using one of the newest processors.
- Camcorders may run Android for support for apps such as one-click upload of pictures and video to YouTube and Google+, collaborative video editing, video streaming, title, description, tags editing etc. More and more camcorders and photo cameras will thus include WiFi, a touchscreen and Android.
- Google may expand Google App Engine to support PHP/Mysql CMS scripts such as WordPress, phpbb, mediawiki and more. Google can thus provide free ads-free hosting up to millions of pageviews per month and above that, require that people use Google ads or pay a small fee for the cloud hosting bandwidth. Google can guarantee secure backups, upgrades, support and more. It’ll be disruptive for the hosting and domains industry.
- Some Governments will legalize piracy and make one step further, levy a tax on the ISP or a new tax that every citizen will have to pay to sponsor all artists in each country. For example about $10/person/month for everyone in Europe, the USA and a few other rich regions of the world can collect over $120 Billion per year, which is more than enough to sponsor all music, movies, tv, writers, open source free software programmers and more. Popularity of all works online can reliably be measured to compensate content creators accordingly. This will eliminate existing intermediaries like labels/studios/publishers/proprietary software companies and it is going to be very disruptive towards the new intermediaries like netflix/hulu/spotify/kindle/prime/itunes and other.
Here again, now Twit posted the video on the official http://youtube.com/twit channel, so here it is, when you click the play button below, it should start at the right time-code 35 minutes 17 seconds when I first appear on the show, where I get to talk to Leo Laporte and Sarah Lane on the Twit show at LeWeb 2011!
On Twit, I get to talk with Leo Laporte and Sarah Lane about the legalization of piracy in Switzerland, in France, about the latest Archos G9 and Arnova G2 devices and I get to show off my headmounted Motorola Kopin Golden-i system for augmented video-blogging.
You can see me starting at 9 minutes 45 seconds time code in following Twit Live video recorded at LeWeb 2011, I’m interviewed by Leo Laporte and Sarah Lane! This video features some of my talk about Switzerland legalizing piracy, France implementing the global licence to legalize piracy, Archos, my headmounted Kopin Golden-i computer, live stream and augmented video-blogging system.
Source: recorded video on Ustream.tv
I’ll post the YouTube embed if Twit and LeWeb release it separately on YouTube.
Panasonic is designing their own ARM Cortex-A9 processor at 1.4Ghz that can be used for Google TV type set-top-boxes. Here’s a video interview with Dr. Masaitsu Nakajima, General Manager of Panasonic’s Processor Core Technology, talking about their ARM Cortex-A9 for set-top-boxes:
Video posted by chipestimate.tv
As is said at the end of the video, Panasonic has plans for using ARM Powered Android in Tablets, and they probably also have plans for ARM Powered Android Smartphones, and I also expect Panasonic to use Android in some of their upcoming Camcorders, such as the Sanyo HD1000-type-design, with a 1-click Android functionality to upload the videos directly to YouTube over WiFi, with 1-click live stream to online live streaming systems like Ustream.tv and Justin.tv. I expect Panasonic to include Android in Photo cameras, and in their HDTVs using the ARM Powered Google TV platform. Look forward to major Panasonic branded Android devices news at CES, Mobile World Congress and following.
- Panasonic plans to go forth with Android to all of Europe this spring, North America is a definite maybe (engadget.com)
- Panasonic looking to offer smartphones outside of Japan (ubergizmo.com)
- Panasonic reconfirms plans to sell Android phones in Europe, North America (unwiredview.com)
- Panasonic renews hopes of Android smartphones in US, Europe (electronista.com)
- Panasonic eyes reentry to smartphone market outside Japan (slashgear.com)
- Panasonic reaffirms plans to bring its Android phones outside of Japan (intomobile.com)
I’m quite active on Google+ since July. Thus far I have 3916 people circle me there. I post a lot of ARM related and general tech related posts, comments and opinions every day. You can circle me here: https://plus.google.com/106075758531242552855
I believe Google+ is already far better than Twitter and Facebook. These are my stats on each platform:
I think Google+ is going to get even much better as soon as Google implements clever recommendations algorithms for your stream. Based on your +1 ratings it will be able to display “People who +1 the kind of content that you +1 also +1 this content:”, thus filtering out the randomness and listing only the interesting posts automatically. Every good post will automatically get the deserved audience, more or less regardless of who is circling who.
Here is my speculation for some of the upcoming high-end Samsung Android phones based on the recently rumored new Samsung Exynos 4412 Quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 at 1.5Ghz, and based on looking at the Texas Instruments OMAP4 roadmap and thinking the faster OMAP4 processors are fully backwards compatible requiring little design and software changes for Samsung to upgrade:
- Galaxy Nexus 1.2Ghz OMAP4460 dual-core SGX540 308Mhz 45nm launching before Christmas
- Galaxy Nexus 1.5Ghz OMAP4460 dual-core SGX540 384Mhz 45nm around January/February
- Galaxy Nexus 1.8Ghz OMAP4470 dual-core SGX544 384Mhz 45nm around March/April
- Andromeda (Galaxy S3) 1.5Ghz Exynos 4412 quad-core Mali-T604 32nm around May/June/July
- Hydra (Galaxy Nexus 2) 2Ghz OMAP5 ARM Cortex-A15 SGX6 28nm around September
- Quasar (Galaxy S4) 2Ghz Exynos 5 ARM Cortex-A15 Mali-T658 28nm around November
I’m using the names Andromeda, Hydra and Quasar because I think Samsung may at some point stop using the Galaxy name in every new phone.
Samsung will likely also continue to release high-end phones using the best that Qualcomm and Nvidia can come with. Thus expect some Qualcomm Krait and Nvidia Tegra3 in some new Samsung phones also. The reason being Samsung is so big they need to use all the major processors in their phone designs, thus spreading their reach further over the market.
What do you think Samsung is going to release?
Wow, Google just released the source code for Ice Cream Sandwich in this Google Groups post.
Expect all Gingerbread-capable devices be able to upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich rapidly. The question is only how soon each ARM SoC can have it fully hardware accelerated? Who is doing that work of doing all the hardware optimizations? Who is eventually disabling or tuning down certain hardware accelerated advanced user interface features in the software if that hardware is not powerful enough or of lower performance?
As of course one can expect all the latest high-end Dual-Core ARM Cortex-A9 processors to support this soon, including all devices on the TI OMAP4, Samsung Exynos 4210, Qualcomm MSM8260/8660, Nvidia Tegra2 and Tegra3, St-Ericsson U8500/U9500 and more. Imagine how awesome it is going to be to see firmware updates upgrading all Tablets and Smartphones using following cheap SoCs to Ice Cream Sandwich:
- TI OMAP3630/3530/3430 ARM Cortex-A8
- Samsung Hummingbird ARM Cortex-A8
- Freescale i.MX51/53 ARM Cortex-A8
- Marvell PXA618 Single Core
- Qualcomm 8255/8255T Single Core up to 1.5Ghz
- Rockchip RK2918 ARM Cortex-A8 1.2Ghz
- Telechips 8803 ARM Cortex-A8 1.2Ghz
- AmLogic 8726 ARM Cortex-A9 Single Core 800Mhz
- NEC/Renesas EV2 ARM Cortex-A9 Dual Core 533Mhz
- Qualcomm MSM7227 ARM11
- Mediatek MTK6573 ARM11
- VIA 8710 ARM11
and more! Does anyone know how to get a confirmation from each of these ARM SoC providers to get an idea about how soon and if they expect to get full Ice Cream Sandwich support? Who is going to make that work, do each SoC provider, each device maker have to do all the work or is Google contributing a lot of those software optimizations already as part of the open source Android 4.0.1 code release?
How soon can we expect to find some awesome sub-$100 and sub-$200 fully capacitive, fully smooth Android phones, tablets running on the amazing Android 4.0.1? Can we expect them all now to be fully officially allowed to pre-load the full Google Marketplace, having the full Google-supported Tablet features, official tablet services pre-loaded, no questions asked? I expect Google’s new Ice Cream Sandwich Compatibility Definition Document to allow for every one of those SoCs full compatibility, even the cheapest, and not requiring any specific sensors, screen sizes, buttons, 3G features or other to get official Google Marketplace on those.
I expect that we may see Ice Cream Sandwich on all these SoC, even the ARM11 based ones, starting as soon as before the end of the year, or maybe in January or February of next year. I expect all cheap tablets and phones to run the latest Ice Cream Sandwich, all come with the official Google Marketplace legally pre-loaded, regardless of sensors present. I also expect either Android 4.0.1 or perhaps later coming Android 4.1, Android 4.2 to also provide full support for Set-top-boxes, Laptops, E-readers and more. That means, I expect this to provide a full Google TV experience on HDMI out. I expect this to provide a full Chrome browser when outputting a HD output and keyboard/mouse is detected. I expect this to provide the best ever user interface and applications platform for E-Ink and Pixel Qi based e-readers, powering a better reading experience.
Nvidia is launching the Tegra 3 next month in the $499 Asus Transformer Prime (with a $149 optional keyboard dock). This is an amazing new Quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 with a lower-power “companion chip” for reduced power usage.
They are publishing a lot of claims about the performance.
How does a Dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 clocked at 1.5Ghz like in the TI OMAP4460 and Qualcomm MSM8660 and at up to 1.8Ghz like in the upcoming TI OMAP4470 compare with a Quad-core Tegra3 clocked at 1.3Ghz?
Nvidia probably claims that the Quad-core design performs faster. And in my video with Freescale talking about their upcoming i.MX6Quad it’s being said that running a higher frequency Dual-core can introduce potential leakage and higher power consumption, but what is it really? How is the performance going to compare for most popular Android tasks, for most common Android usage scenarios, for most current Android apps?
I am looking forward to testing these “second generation” ARM Cortex-A9 processors, I want to believe that these can provide for the full performance required to replace x86 for a full ARM Powered Laptop and Desktop experience. I want to believe that Nvidia improved their ARM Cortex-A9 design enough to provide for an amazing new faster memory bandwidth.
Basically, what I expect that we are getting now is enough performance, fast enough memory bandwidth, that we can run as many tabs as we want in the Android and Chrome web browser on ARM, that we can even expect to be able to begin to do things like video-editing (HTML5 cloud based), photo-editing (HTML5 cloud based), console-quality gaming (with cloud powered engines like OnLive if needed), all through this new class of ARM Cortex-A9 processors coming out now.
Which one do you pick among OMAP4460 Dual-core 45nm 1.5Ghz (December), OMAP4470 Dual-core 45nm 1.8Ghz (next 3 months?), Qualcomm MSM8660 Dual-core 45nm 1.5Ghz (now), Qualcomm Dual/Quad-core S4 Krait 28nm 1.5Ghz (next 6 months?), Freescale i.MX6Quad 1.2Ghz (next 6 months? higher clock speeds later?), Exynos 4210 45nm 1.2Ghz (now), Exynos 4212 32nm 1.5Ghz (next 6 months?), Apple A6 (32nm? dual or quad?) (next 6 months?), Marvell Armada PXA2128 (next 6 months?), ST-Ericsson U9500 45nm 1.2Ghz (now), ST-Ericsson U9540 32nm 1.85Ghz (next 6 months?) and Nvidia Tegra3 40nm 1.3Ghz (December, higher clock speeds later?)? And don’t forget that the ARM Cortex-A15 designs at 28nm are going to arrive within a few months after that.
I think we are going to have a lot of fun with these new faster ARM Powered devices, do you agree?
- NVIDIA says Tegra 3 is a ‘PC-class CPU,’ has screenshots to prove it (engadget.com)
- Tablets Get Snappier With Nvidia’s Quad-core Tegra 3 (pcworld.com)
- NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core mobile processor revealed and detailed (slashgear.com)
- NVIDIA Tegra 3 is a quad-core beast that will make your eyes bleed – In a good way (intomobile.com)
- Nvidia outs five-core ARM chip (go.theregister.com)
10x less power consumption, 40x less cables, 10x less switches, 20x less racks, 4x more servers for 3x lower cost.
HP, the biggest Server maker in the world, is launching the ARM Powered Project Moonshot to revolutionize the server market. Together with Calxeda, they are launching the new custom designed Quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 EnergyCore processor that can be stuffed in a completely redesigned server rack to offer many more servers in a much smaller space and consuming much less power at a much lower cost.
You can be sure Google, Facebook, Amazon are looking into using these instead of Intel servers as soon as possible.
Now that Intel is losing the battle to powering the client device, they are also about to loose the battle to powering the cloud.
One little warning though. HP is Intel’s biggest Server customer today. Intel provides most of the server processors for HP’s $16 Billion per year server business today. So you never know what kinds of threats or “incentives” Intel might come up with now that HP has announced the Project Moonshot and Intel might try to lure HP into getting a discount on current server chips and using the Intel Atom instead. Expect Google, IBM, Dell and others to soon announce their own ARM Powered server projects also.
- HP’s Project Moonshot Targets Low-Power Servers (datacenterknowledge.com)
- HP Project Moonshot reveals low-power Redstone ARM servers (slashgear.com)
- HP’s Project Moonshot works on low-power ARM, Atom servers (electronista.com)
- ARM Breaks Into One Of Intel’s Strongholds (ARMH, INTC, HPQ) (businessinsider.com)
- HP Project Moonshot hurls ARM servers into the heavens (go.theregister.com)
- Ubuntu Cloud Portal: Ubuntu & HP’s project Moonshot (cloud.ubuntu.com)
- HP’s Project Moonshot aims to make ARM servers mainstream (zdnet.com)