Despite the challenges of the ongoing global pandemic, or perhaps because of them, 2020 was an interesting year for tech. Quarantines and work-from-home orders have increased our reliance on tech to do work.
At the same time, big hardware releases especially in gaming have performed beyond expectation as many people have turned to gaming to pass their increasing amounts of free time.
Now, coming into 2021, we enter a year where tech companies have adapted to the challenges of the pandemic and are now moving forward with both plans put in place before it hit, as well as those hatched during 2020.
With that in mind, here are a few tech stories we’re looking forward to in 2021.
1. PlayStation 5 back in stock
When PlayStation 5 finally hit local stores last month, only those who were lucky enough to have pre-ordered the console a month before were able to get it. For the rest of us, we’re still waiting for Sony to allot more units for the country. (Read: The PlayStation 5’s Philippine launch was surprisingly subdued)
More importantly, the next time PS5 becomes available, it will no longer be limited to those who pre-ordered—anyone can simply walk into a shop and buy a console. What’s more, with platform holders like Sony constantly updating its hardware, there’s a chance that we might get a slightly updated build of the PS5, one that addresses some of the bugs that early adopters have faced.
2. Intel Rocket Lake
To use a Tagalog idiom, Intel was seemingly caught natutulog sa pansitan (napping on Pansit-pansitan bush) this year. Rival chipmaker AMD was finally able to reclaim the performance lead it once held in the mid-2000s with its new Zen 3-based Ryzen 5000 line of CPUs.
Of course, a company like Intel doesn’t get to where it is by resting on its laurels, and we know that the CA-based company has been hard at work on its 11th generation line of CPUs, codenamed Rocket Lake.
To be clear, Intel still hasn’t solved the issues plaguing its 7 nanometer (nm) process, meaning that Rocket Lake will still be on the older 10 nm dye, unlike AMD’s Ryzen line. However, early reports indicate that Rocket Lake will still be a beast of a CPU, possibly matching and even beating out Zen 3 in single-threaded performance.
That said, being on the older 10 nm process means that Rocket Lake won’t have as many cores as Zen 3, so which CPU line will take the performance crown is, as of yet, unknown.
3. Twitter Spaces
This one was just announced recently. Following the rise of voice chat applications such as Zoom during the pandemic, Twitter is now getting into the act as well with Spaces.
Unlike Zoom, Spaces is an audio-only chat room—no fun virtual backgrounds and camera effects here. But Twitter seems to think that audio-only chat rooms have their place in this increasingly crowded field.
In addition, the company says it’s aiming the feature at marginalized communities, or those more likely to be subjected to abuse and harassment on its platform. As such, it’s rolling out Spaces with a slew of moderation features allowing the creator of a “Space” full control of who gets kicked out or muted.
4. New Nvidia GPUs
Even as it struggles to provide enough RTX 30 GPUs to satiate a market hungry for high-end graphics cards, Nvidia looks to be hard at work at new GPUs, including updated RTX 30 “Super” cards and the next-generation RTX 40.
Meanwhile, AMD also launched its own RX 6000 line of GPUs, which, for the first time in years, has presented a serious challenge to Nvidia’s dominance. (Read: Should you get an AMD Radeon RX 6800 or 6800 XT?)
Will the RTX 3070 and 3080 Super and RTX 40 series put Nvidia back into the GPU performance lead? At the very least, the fact that Nvidia is working on these cards means they know that AMD is serious competition.
Now if the company could only produce enough of them to satisfy demand.
5. Foldable iPhone
Something that’s been rumored to be happening for quite some time now, 2021 may be the year that Apple finally reveals a foldable iPhone.
A leak from September claimed that Apple was working with Samsung on a foldable version of the iPhone. Prior to that, a patent for such a device was spotted back in April. More recently, a new leak claimed that two different foldable iPhone models had recently passed durability testing.
That said, rumors of a foldable iPhone have been going around as early as 2017. But the increasing number of manufacturers putting out their own foldable phones could mean that the time is ripe for Apple to finally unleash their own foldable version.
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