Five Ideas That Will Reinvent Modern Computing
Milestones of the Future
Want a list of all the groundbreaking technologies due over the next decade? Tough luck. We've got neither the time nor the space. But we can give you the milestones—the 13 technologies guaranteed to change the world between now and 2020.
The Real Quad-Core
AMD releases the first single-chip quad-core CPU. Code-named Barcelona, it promises 20 to 50 percent better performance than the competing multichip design from you-know-who.
Sony introduces the first OLED (organic light-emitting diode) television. It's too small and too expensive for mass consumption, but early adopters love its 3mm profile and 1,000,000-to-1 contrast ratio.
Like Wi-Fi—but Everywhere
Carriers launch the first WiMAX services in the U.S., giving major metro areas wireless access that rivals the speeds of Wi-Fi. The difference? No more hot spots. It's everywhere you go.
Eight-Core and More
Intel unveils an eight-core processor and completely revamps its Core architecture, moving the memory controller and graphics circuitry from distinct chipsets onto the CPU itself.
So Long, Laser Printer
The first Memjet ink-based printers hit the market, delivering 60 pages per minute at a reasonable cost per page. The trick: multiple print heads that span the entire width of the paper you're printing on.
The High-Def DVR
Seagate releases a 3.5-inch hard drive that stores 3 terabytes of data. That's 3,000 gigabytes. We're talking about a digital video recorder that records nothing but high-def video.
Can You Say 4G?
Fourth-generation cellular networks debut in the United States. The LTE (Long Term Evolution) standard doubles the throughput of 3G networks, offering 3 to 4 Mbps to real-world users.
Chips Go Optical
IBM perfects a chip for mainframes and other high-end machines that uses optical connections instead of copper. Moving photons instead of electrons improves data transfer speeds eightfold.
A Cure for Jersey Drivers
The first cars equipped with Motorola's MotoDrive technology roll off the assembly line. Able to calculate their speed and position relative to other vehicles, these cars can automatically avoid accidents.
HDTV Is Obsolete
Ultra High Definition Television (UHDTV) debuts with a resolution of 7,680-by-4,320 and 22 speakers of surround sound, dwarfing today's HDTVs, which top out at 1,920-by-1,080.
Power Off, Memory On
Manufacturers use carbon nanotubes to offer NRAM (nonvolatile random-access memory). Unlike today's SDRAM and flash memory technologies, it can hold information even when you lose power.
Wash 'N' Wear iPods
Flexible, washable OLED screens hit the market. That means laptops that roll up like place mats—not to mention smartphone and music-player displays built right into your clothing.
Wall-sized displays made of low-power polymers and improved video-conferencing technologies let groups of home-based workers interact as if they were sitting face to face.