Broadcom Predicts Top 10 Technology Trends in 2013

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Dec 23, 2012
There isnt anything i totally disagree with, except 7. 4k tvs wont start becomming mainstroeam until content producers start producing. Whats the point in having something that plays 3840*2160 if youtube doesnt support it fully, blueray only plays 1080p, and games only support 2560*1600? It hasnt happened yet, even though it wouldnt be hard to implement it. Most consumers are happy with 1080p, and thus producers do not feel like putting extra work to improve content quality.


Jun 7, 2012
@mrnothing The content producers are probably waiting for the consumers to start buying 4k, while we wait for them before buying. It's a vicious circle, but I think it's common. Most people were happy with VHS until DVDs were mainstream, and most were happy with cassettes until CDs and now MP3s became more common. Whether or not 4k will be taken up is anyone's guess, but that's always the risk with new technology (eg. HD-DVD or Betamax) and usually requires initial consumer enthusiasm before the content starts flowing.


Jul 11, 2009
How about 3D Printing? I can't believe how inexpensive they're getting. Home-based businesses should get a boost from these devices.


I agree with strato. 3d printing should have been included on here. I'm actually enjoying the rate of exposure it is getting, cause it is yet to reach its mainstream explosion (which as I see it is inevitable; upward trend in the press, reduced price to entry, consistent increase in share price of 3d stocks despite the 2008 recession). In terms of investment, it is still a decent buy opportunity (ignoring the fiscal drama). I've thought of the pros and cons, and have thought about why 3d printing would not succeed and explode into the mainstream. The pros highly outweigh the cons. Ask yourself what the tech can be capable of and think of scenarios the printing can be used in. Then ask yourself, "why not?"
I'm a 3d modeller so I've been following 3d printing news consistently.


Aug 26, 2011
[citation][nom]cosmoto[/nom]I agree with strato. 3d printing should have been included on here...[/citation]

As you said, you're in the 3D modeling industry so your view is going to be influenced from that. Myself not being in the industry and seeing only a fraction of the stories you have, I see major roadblocks to 3D printing, primarily low utility. I mean, how much stuff can someone potentially do with it? If it isn't something that someone can get regular use out of, and isn't substantially cheaper than buying online or shipping at a local store, then it will end up being the type of thing only useful for small businesses where volume can override cost. I could be wrong, but like I said, from the perspective of someone not up on all the latest details 3D printing seems interesting but not entirely useful from a consumer-market standpoint.
[citation][nom]mrnothing[/nom]There isnt anything i totally disagree with, except 7. 4k tvs wont start becomming mainstroeam until content producers start producing. Whats the point in having something that plays 3840*2160 if youtube doesnt support it fully, blueray only plays 1080p, and games only support 2560*1600? It hasnt happened yet, even though it wouldnt be hard to implement it. Most consumers are happy with 1080p, and thus producers do not feel like putting extra work to improve content quality.[/citation]Nobody said mainstream adaptation of 4K, just early adopter availability. This means that if you are willing to take out a 2nd morgage on your home to buy a TV, then you will be able to. Unlike now where you have to be someone, or know someone to even order a 4K TV... and even then you are most likely signing up for a waiting list. In 2013 the will be 'available'... just damnably expensive.
A few things I think were missed, or I wish were coming;
1) 3D printing. It is here, and next year it becomes 'cheap' and readily available. It's not for me... but it is some pretty awesome tech. Super stoked for this truly becoming mainstream by the time my kids are in middle school.

2) 10Gb Ethernet for home networks. No it is not coming next year... but it should have come out last year! I mean seriously, the single largest thing that blocks power users from moving to smaller and more power efficient rigs is not the CPU or GPU capacity of said rigs, it is data throughput. GbE can only do ~120MB/s (on a really really good day it actually only does ~80GB/s). It is fast enough to stream HD content between rooms, but not fast enough to give up on local storage for power users. I can fit an i7 and a GTX680 comfortably in a cute ITX box, have it consume a moderate amount of power, and run quite silent. What I cannot give up however are HDDs, which are big, noisy, and add a sizeable amount of constant power even during low-use times. I would love to throw all of my HDDs on a home server tucked away in another room somewhere, and have a nice, small, silent box that does all of the heavy lifting... but it simply cannot be done without faster Ethernet standards!
Similarly, we need faster Internet speeds. Personally I have few complaints about my ~20Mb/s download speed as it is 'enough' for my household, but an upload speed of 1.5Mb/s is stupid slow, and not good for doing things like Skype, or making the home server files available to my portable devices when they are off of the local network. On top of that, $50 is frankly too expensive for such internet service. For wireless service? Sure, that is an industry making changes by leaps and bounds every year. But my home internet service has been 20/1.5 for 7 years now... I am not exactly paying for them to upgrade their infrastructure as it has not changed in a looooong time. Either make my speeds faster by investing in better equipment to service my area, or else lower my monthly cost to match the cost of maintaining current gen equipment.

3) SSDs become mainstream. I doubt that most people will consider purchasing a computing device with a HDD for their system drive by the end of 2013. For a system drive they are simply not very expensive compared to the performance boost and user experience they offer. On the network side I think we will finally see hold-outs of SSD tech won over from HDD media as well. SSDs may still have a premium up-front purchase cost, but it is not nearly as high as it use to be, and more and more network engineers are seeing the value of less power/cooling costs, higher density, and more efficient CPU usage that are brought with the SSD tech.
Also, as part of this I think we will see the introduction of large SSDs in 2013. Controller refreshes will allow for 1TB mainstream SSDs, and 2TB SSDs which use some form of internal RAID scheme (like current gen 1TB SSDs, which is why they are so expensive). This, combined with the continued drop in prices per GB will begin to put real pressure on HDD manufacturers to produce cheaper, larger, and more reliable HDDs, and possibly drop production of sub 250GB 3.5 drives entirely.

4) The crossover of touch and motion control for more than just mobile users. I think the introduction of leapmostion and Kinnect for PC will make people understand the design decisions for win8, and will open up a new, or at least more natural, way of interacting with computing devices. Sure, using a touch screen on a desktop is a pain in the ass, but using gesture control or motion control may not be so hard. This will not be a complete revolution (that cannot happen until voice interfaces also get an overhaul), but the beginning of a major change in how we interact with more traditional computers.

5) Death of the laptop. The PC is not going anywhere as it is not replaced by phones and tablets... but laptops are going to die out quickly, and I think we will begin to see that next year. I just got my first smartphone (lumia 920) and love it. It quite literally replaces my need for a laptop. It has all the capabilities that I need, and most of the ones that I want (SD card and monitor hookup being on the short list of things I want to see next gen). I still need a desktop at home and in the office, but to get between point a and b I no longer need to lug around a laptop. It also replaces my MP3 player, camera, radio, clock/watch, and GPS (but not quite the video camera). They are all now powered down, and have been collecting dust for 2 weeks now with no real prospect of being touched ever again. I am mildly annoyed at having to charge up every day, and even top-off towards the end of heavy days, but compared to the number of devices replaced, while maintaining a relatively small form factor, it is a small price to pay.
Current gen phones will not do the trick for everyone, but for most of them a tablet or next gen phone will. For power users there are ultrabook laptops, but I think everyone can agree that the traditional 'laptop' form factor is dead for everyone except for laptop gamers, and people who need to do CAD or editing workloads while on the go... but both of these are niche markets.
The desktop still has a few years left in it, but is similarly doomed. Future dockable phones and tablets will replace the traditional desktop form factor, and 'desktops' will simply become central home servers that house personal content to a household's 'cloud' of devices. But that will not happen in 2013, I give it ~5-7 years though.

6) A slowdown in mobile compute power. Mobile devices (specifically phones) have been seeing a 2x CPU and 3x GPU performance increase every year for the last several years, until 2012 where things slowed down just a little bit. I think we are fast approaching the threshold of 'good enough' on pixel density, screen size/quality, and overall horsepower. Next we will see a push for doing the same workloads with less power to produce better battery life rather than more performance (much like we are seeing Intel do with their CPUs). 2013 will mark the first year for the beginning of this new paradigm, but it may not be followed in full swing until 2014.
In tablets and laptops we have already seen a major slowdown in CPU and GPU increases, and much more focus on battery life, storage, and connectivity/capability. For laptops and tablets in 2013 I think we will see a resolution spike with a push for 'retina' density displays on everything mobile as an extension to what we have already seen on phones, and with it an appropriate increase in GPU power. But after that I think the main focus from here on out is going to be on the side of better software design and battery life with a good 5-10% performance increases every year.


Feb 16, 2007
Was hoping to see virtual reality helmets in that list.
But then, analysts of all sorts predict the death of the PC too, so, not to be taken seriously. What will come will come, be that Oculus Rift or Google Glass and their possible competitors.


MPEG-5? It would be nice just to see them fully support properly encoded x264. If they are talking h.265 it's still in draft and highly doubtful to see it this year, except MAYBE in such a poor executed form it pales in comparison to current h264


Jan 27, 2012
Higher resolution TVs (4K) will become popular long before content producers start adopting it as their native format. The reason: People will want to see more than their 1080p movie on the screen at the same time. If their Blu-ray movie only occupies a portion of their screen, they can use the rest of it for things like stock-tickers, breaking news updates, closed circuit tv, or a couple of sports channels to keep up on the action without all the picture-in-picture stuff that overlaps your content today.

It's just like people who want 27" computer monitors today, not because they want to see 200 lines of their document all at once, but because they want 10 windows open at the same time without them all overlapping each other.
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