The biggest tech trade show of the year is upon us again.
This year's edition of the Consumer Electronics Show runs from Jan. 7th to Jan. 10th, with press events kicking off a couple days earlier. As usual, dozens of big-name consumer hardware and chip suppliers will be exhibiting at the show, with a number of them also unveiling new products.
Here are a few things for tech investors to pay attention to as CES gets going.
1. Processor Announcements
Intel (INTC) and AMD (AMD) are each once more hosting CES press events where new products are expected to be revealed. An AMD press event featuring CEO Lisa Su will take place at 5PM ET on Monday, and an Intel press event featuring CEO Bob Swan and other execs will kick off two hours later.
AMD is widely expected to reveal its third-gen Ryzen Mobile notebook processor line -- the first Ryzen Mobile chips to use AMD's Zen 2 CPU core microarchitecture and Taiwan Semiconductor's (TSM) 7-nanometer manufacturing process node -- at its event. The company might also show off new 7nm gaming GPUs and 48 and 64-core CPUs for its 7nm, third-gen, Ryzen Threadripper CPU line, which saw 24 and 32-core CPUs launch in November.
Intel might unveil its 10th-gen Core desktop CPU line, which reportedly includes a pair of 10-core CPUs. Intel also reportedly plans to show off a next-gen notebook cooling solution that can boost cooling efficiency for Intel-powered systems by up to 30%.
2. ADAS/Autonomous Driving Reveals
While the hype surrounding autonomous driving has definitely cooled over the last two years, automakers, parts suppliers and chip suppliers are still busy working on solutions that can either partly or (within certain geofenced locations) fully take over from human drivers. Look for a number of firms to demo Level 2+ and Level 3 autonomous driving solutions that (although not fully driverless solutions) can automate more activity than current ADAS offerings, and which could be commercialized in 2-to-3 years.
Also, Intel's Mobileye unit (the current leader in the ADAS vision processor space) has a CES press event set for 2:30PM ET on Tuesday. And Qualcomm (QCOM) , which hasn't been a player in the ADAS processor market to date, has signaled that its CES press event (set for 2PM ET on Monday) will have an ADAS focus.
3. Other Automotive Tech
There's a reason why CES is often jokingly referred to as the Car Electronics Show. Automakers and their suppliers have long had an outsized presence at the show, and the fact that cars are steadily becoming more packed with silicon, radios, displays, batteries and advanced software has done nothing to disrupt this trend in recent years.
In addition to ADAS/autonomous news, CES should feature electric car reveals and concepts, demos involving cars featuring 5G and cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) radios and the unveiling of next-gen digital cockpit systems that pair digital instrument clusters with powerful infotainment systems.
4. Display Tech Advances
Samsung is expected to show off high-end TVs at CES that rely on micro LED displays, as well as well as a bezel-less 8K TV (it's a safe bet that the set won't be cheap). Rival LG is expected to show off a concept OLED TV that can roll down from a ceiling, as well as a flexible, semi-transparent, OLED screen for airplanes.
And while CES generally isn't known for major smartphone reveals, a foldable phone or two might be revealed at the show. There's some speculation that Chinese OEM OnePlus will be showing off a foldable.
5. Voice Assistants and Smart Home Hardware
Amazon.com (AMZN) and Alphabet/Google (GOOGL) both went the extra mile to promote their voice assistant platforms at CES last year, and (with the help of various chip and hardware partners) it looks like they'll be at it again this year. A few new voice assistant features and partnerships could be announced along the way.
And at a time when smart home/IoT hardware sales continue taking off, there should be plenty of IoT hardware reveals, as well as the demoing of solutions meant to make smart home devices smarter and/or more convenient to use.
Given that the IoT hardware space is deeply fragmented and features many niche products, a lot of the interesting hardware announcements are likely to come from smaller firms. But either way, chip suppliers benefit as total hardware shipments grow.