Jon Peddie Research has released a compilation of thoughts and visions for the new year, focusing on gaming, 5G, displays, VR and more.
In 2019, Nvidia came up with the firts grphics cards that support ray tracing. Although not all analysts and game enthusiasts were blown away by the performance of Turing RTX on conventional 3D graphics over previous generation Pascal, Alex Herrera, analyst and author behind JPR’s Workstation Report series, believes that the transition to ray tracing is close.
"To make the transition to ray tracing will not only take quite a bit of time, it will mean having to break the chicken-and-egg dilemma software and content developers face: why spend a lot of time or money on ray tracing when the installed base of hardware isn’t very good at it yet? The transition has to begin somewhere, and this looks a viable time to start."
"But at the tail end of 2019, it certainly seems like we’ve hit the tipping point, and now it’s just a matter of when, not if. That’s because—with the exception of performance and cost—ray tracing is virtually always the preferred rendering technique. And history has shown time and again, if performance and cost are the only stumbling blocks to a path that is overwhelmingly preferred, then it’s just a matter of time before the industry’s incessant gains in performance and reductions in cost resolve the issue, allowing the ecosystem to gradually adapt and transition."
Jon Peddie, president of Jon Peddie Research, expects new tools to make ray tracing accessible to more users.
2020 may be full of challenge, as a result of the continued trade war that disrupts and distorts forecasts, production plans and supply chains.
Jon Peddie expects monitors to get bigger in size and resolution, he sees CPUs that will run all day on a battery that can fit in a thin and light notebook, and communications speeds for Wi-Fi, PCIe, and 5G to make things appear to happen instantly. Intel will join the ranks of discrete GPU suppliers, and Google and Amazon are expected to expand their AI processor capabilities.
He also expects camera sensors to continue to drop in price as they are put everywhere. "Resolution and speed will go up while size comes down and your car will wear about a dozen or more of them. That will help your car find its way around without your assistance and you will go from being a liability and safety hazard to a passenger, sit up, buckle up, shut up," he said.
"Apple, and probably Amazon, will introduce AR glasses, while Qualcomm and Google will offer reference designs. Everything and anything at the end of the network, the so-called edge, will not only get smarter, but it will be augmented by the cloud and managed. More stuff will move to the cloud including gaming, security, entertainment, shopping, and medical assistance," he added.
In gaming, he expects high-end, AAA, gaming trends in 2020 to have more full-screen blended motion capture (mocap) and computer graphics. A good example is Call of Duty and Battlefield V. Full 10-bit high dynamic range (HDR) color will be standard of high-end games as will ray tracing.
120 to 240 Hz 4k will also show up on many high-end games. Maps will get bigger, and games will be more open world and allow the gamer to explore and pursue side quests. Sound realism will be greater, and there will be more audio controls allowing the player to create the sound stage he or she wants. Single player or campaign modes will have fantastic enemy AI where the enemies will actually learn about you and anticipate your moves. Enemies will also become more realistic in their movement due to improved game engine mechanics and mocap. And the stories will become amazing, not limited to simply run and shoot but complex stories that you will need to pay attention to get through the game making the games emotional immersive.
Desktop displays are also expected to get larger with higher resolution, and we will spend over 90% of waking hours looking at some type of a screen on a smartphone, TV, PC, movie, driving, or shopping.
Journalist Mark Poppin expects Half Life Alyx, the next update in the Half Life universe, to be the next really big 2020 VR game, and he also expects Valve to put in a lot of work to make their Knuckles controllers stand out.
Generation 2.0 of VR HMDs are waiting on Nvidia and AMD to launch the next generation of video cards to move graphics and VR forward. There is some talk of multi-core modules (MCM) for 2020 although Nvidia has been working on it for over a decade. It’s uncertain whether MCM will arrive in 2020, but Poppin says you can bet on powerful video cards that may be more affordable.
He also expects significant VR improvements with eye tracking and foveated rendering in 2020 that will drive more gamers to PC VR. "AR will become huge beginning in 2020, and we may see some AR/VR crossover headsets. Industry has already adopted VR, but gaming still lags behind," he said.
Neil is Vice President of Developer Ecosystems at Nvidia and president of the Khronos Group, says that Khronos is going to be busy as the group gathers real-world feedback on key new initiatives, approaches, and deployments:
- Vulkan Safety Critical (SC) is working to bring GPU graphics and compute to markets such as automotive, robotics, and avionics that need streamlined system safety certification;
- he Vulkan Working Group is standardizing new 3D rendering techniques such as ray tracing and mesh shaders that will enable new levels of realism and performance;
- Languages and compilers are becoming increasingly important in standards for graphics, inferencing and compute. Khronos will continue to build out the open source ecosystem around SPIR-V, including an increasingly close collaboration with LLVM;
- A related growing trend is the use of Intermediate Representations (IRs), such as LLVM and SPIR-V, to enable users with their language of choice—wherever they need to deploy it. The open source clspv compiler for deploying OpenCL C on Vulkan, and MoltenVK to bring Vulkan apps to Apple platforms are great examples;
- For several Khronos standards, such as OpenCL and OpenVX, the need for deployment flexibility, i.e., the ability to ship market-targeted feature sets while being conformant, is becoming more critical to adoption than new functionality.
Looking further out into 2021–22
- Machine learning uses and technology will continue to rapidly evolve. Standards organizations will be carefully evaluating when there is enough stability to make more interoperability standards practical and valuable, enabling the industry to move from monolithic, often open source implementations to increasingly cross-platform, cross-vendor ML stacks;
- The technology and constellation of standards to enable ever more accessible HMD-based augmented reality will continue to evolve. Market growth will continue to be in enterprise, whereas the engineering and social barriers to widespread head-worn consumer AR will still not be solved;
- 5G edge servers will begin to provide a significant new path to deployment for on-prem AR, visualization, and compute applications. Standards such as Vulkan and OpenXR should be receptive to user requirements that these new deployment architectures generate.
Bob Raikes, who had been the displays editor for The Peddie Report, expects new attempts to find a winning form factor for foldable devices in 2020. He is looking for a tri-fold device that will open out to a tablet size, but that takes a while to get slim enough to go easily in a pocket.
He also expects the appearance of the first MicroLED displays to the market, although he says those products are likely to be small, lowish resolution devices that need very good energy efficiency, hinting on premium wearables.