Itâ€™s that crazy German air hanger walking, people shoving, arthritis inducing time of year that the world lovingly refers to as CeBIT. With 6,262 exhibitors, 310,412 square metres of space and an expectation of more than half a million visitors the annual trip to murky Hannover promises to be its usual chaotic self. So what can we expect?
The most obvious technology is going to be High Definition. With Toshiba debuting a laptop with HD DVD drive this week and Sony announcing Blu-ray blank media will be in the shops by the end of the show we expect the battle between these two to be immense.
This exchange will also have a major side effect on the rest of the industry. For example, we can expect to see a mass of HD ready displays (notably full 1080p designs) and a rash of dedicated players at exorbitant prices. The knock also carries on to graphics cards, the new ones of which will also be expected to handle HD content effortlessly and while Sapphire showed us the first card with an HDMI interface on Tuesday you can bet it wonâ€™t be the last.
Adding further spice to the mix will also be Belkin who confirmed it will be demonstrating its Wireless USB (WUSB) hub this week which Iâ€™m very keen to see in action. If it works as well in practice as it has been promoted in theory then it should prove a real boon to haters of cable clutter when it launches in Q3. The other side of wireless networking is getting a boost too with Netgearâ€™s decision to turn its noise up at the docile old farts in the 802.11n standards committee. Its announcement that it will demonstrate â€˜draft specificationâ€™ 802.11n products at the show should prove a real attraction.
Super slim dual core notebooks, powerhouse gaming systems, the latest from Microsoft on Vista and the age old battles between AMD and Intel, ATI and nVidia will also continue at full throttle. Stay tuned for a busy week in technology, a stroke inducing week for us and more than one or two complaints about air hangers, Hannover, Germans, press room coffee and unsightly foot swellings. Weather allowing, itâ€™ll be a good oneâ€¦