And so, we come to the end of our brief retrospective on 2018. Did the year fill you with optimism for the year to come, or leave you with a more sceptical view of the industry than this time last year? For many big-name influencers the year has been something of a watershed moment; where previously they had an positive outlook on health and life of the platform, they’re now filled with concern.
High component pricing, at least for current generation technology, leads inevitably to systems which are expensive and poorer bang for your buck than in previous years. Technologies are becoming more proprietary rather than more open, potentially stifling competition. Manufacturers with dominant near monopolistic positions are leveraging it to dictate terms to partners, and by extension consumers. Moores Law appears to be dead as a dodo, at least in the CPU space. And trade wars loom, to the detriment of every electronics component in this worldwide market.
Nonetheless there’s still plenty that’s positive to reflect on. The biggest news was almost certainly NVIDIA’s RTX technology suite that both enhances visual fidelity and boost frame rates. This year may be genuinely heralded as the time when ray-traced rendering entered the consumer space, while the untapped potential of deep learning is also brought to the fore. Even if component costs are untenable, remote game streaming services may eventually help us all to experience the benefits of NVIDIA’s innovation.
Meanwhile, smaller manufacturers also continue to innovate. Whether it be peripherals in the form of new mechanical switches, new cooling technologies, attractive aesthetics or bringing manufacturers together under one roof, perhaps there is hope for the future after all.
The last year of the decade now looms large, and with it plenty of uncertainty. On the positive side, TSMC will be introducing their 7nm process node, and that means brand new CPUs and GPUs to look forward to at the very least. But in a UK-centric view, Brexit in March could wreak havoc far beyond our naïve little corner of this world.
And yet, whatever happens, we’ll still have RGB.
Until next time, we would like to wish you a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year.