Broadcom Predicts Top 10 Technology Trends in 2013

With 2012 now coming to a close, Broadcom has predicted the top 10 technology trends in 2013.

This year saw the rise in smartphones and tablets, with Q3 alone seeing smart-connected devices (PCs, tablets and smartphones) selling over 300 million units. As for 2013, a total of 1.2 billion smartphones and tablets are expected to be sold.

Other notable trends included smartphone/tablet hybrids, 'phablets', as well as the emergence of 5-inch handsets.

Broadcom’s home, hand and infrastructure groups discussed what it believes will be the top 10 technology trends next year, which are as follows:

  1. Simultaneous Video Display Across Devices - "Playing video seamlessly across multiple devices like your smartphone, tablet or laptop will become more commonplace in 2013 as new standards for Wi-Fi enabled devices eliminate interoperability and compatibility issues. This technology, called Miracast™, will soon make its way onto smartphones, TVs, set-top boxes and gaming consoles to simplify sharing and streaming of content. You will soon be able to show the video of your daughter’s Christmas pageant taken from your smartphone on the big screen in the living room without dealing with multiple cables and complicated menus."
  2. NFC: More than Just Payments - "Near-field communications (NFC) has historically been linked to mobile payments, but that could change next year as the technology extends into consumer electronics, with increasingly more manufacturers integrating the chip. It’s already in Nintendo’s Wii U, and ABI Research predicts that 3.5 billion NFC-enabled devices will be in circulation over the next five years. If that’s the case, we may see more tap-to-share applications such as easily syncing phones with a car, transferring video playback from a smartphone to a tablet, or downloading new programming for a remote-control toy."
  3. No Longer for the Luxury Set: Smarter Cars at Lower Cost - "With the adoption of cost-effective standards like Ethernet and WiFi in the car, the cost of adding premium infotainment and advanced safety features has dropped dramatically. No longer confined to luxury-class vehicles, these technologies will make their way into affordable cars beginning in 2013 with Ethernet cost-effectively powering sophisticated add-ons like driver assist and 360 degree surround-view cameras."
  4. Android for Set Top Boxes - "Can Android democratize set top boxes like it has for mobile phones? The platform has advocates and advantages, and in 2013 expect to see the open source technology make its way into the TV and connected home."
  5. LTE Builds Out and Up - "Adoption of LTE is still in the initial stages but consumers will see widespread coverage in 2013. In North America, Verizon should finish its LTE rollout by June 2013, and the Global Mobile Suppliers Association forecasts that 209 networks will be commercially launched in 75 countries by the end of 2013. GSA also reports that over 500 LTE devices including tablets, femtocells, smartphones, and routers have been introduced this year, a 164% increase compared to the number launched in 2011. LTE coverage is clearly seen as a competitive differentiator by carriers, and as network rollouts accelerate worldwide, manufacturers are responding with products for these markets."
  6. Small Cells Get Rolling - "According to Infonetics Research, the $5B market opportunity (total for 2012-2013) for small cell backhaul equipment will begin in earnest in 2013. Small cells increase both coverage and capacity for 3G networks while offloading traffic from the macro network. The infrastructure of chipset manufacturers, mobile operators, small cell vendors and backhaul equipment is now in place to start the market growth."
  7. Go Big - "Look for the first Ultra HD (4Kx2K) TVs to start showing up and for the MPEG-5 codecs and broadband chipsets to start appearing. It won’t be until 2015 we can enjoy this resolution everywhere, but the early adoption of this technology is projected to kick off in 2013."
  8. Emergence of a Software-Defined Networking Ecosystem - "Software-defined networking is far from a nascent concept, but 2012 saw an uptick in SDN’s viability as companies like Cisco, Juniper and VMware made SDN acquisitions to enhance their portfolios. Google has been vocal about their use of OpenFlow to manage their backend traffic on a software-defined network, although a hybrid strategy has been touted as a more holistic approach to implementing SDNs. In 2013 expect an entire ecosystem to coalesce as software developers, network vendors and pure-play SDN shops collaborate to speed SDN’s adoption."
  9. 5G WiFi Everywhere - "Offering improved range, better battery performance, higher capacity and speeds up to three times faster than existing 802.11a/b/g/n networks, 5G WiFi is the latest Wi-Fi standard to accommodate consumers’ thirst for content and the proliferation of devices accessing the network. Since Broadcom announced the industry’s first 5G WiFi chip last year, a number of companies have launched products with the 802.11ac technology, including networking products such as routers and client devices like notebooks and PCs. Expect to see more products hit the shelves using next-generation connectivity next year including smartphones, tablets, digital TVs, and more."
  10. Context Awareness - "GPS technology has made navigating the globe seamless, eliminating the need for road maps and detailed directions from friends. But GPS has limitations. As soon as you walk indoors, that GPS connection is broken. Whereas 2012 was the year of buzz around indoor navigation, 2013 will elevate to the next level: “context awareness.” Context awareness goes beyond navigation by culling data from Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC and sensors in your phone to provide you with intelligent information on your location and surroundings. So perhaps you’re in Best Buy in the TV section and you receive a coupon real-time for a 5% discount on Smart TVs. Or your phone alerts you that you need to leave now for a meeting because there was an accident on the freeway and it’s going to take twice as long as usual. Oh, and bring an umbrella because it’s raining where you’re headed. Smartphones keep getting smarter."

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  • infernocy
    you forgot the lawsuits and patterns
  • mayankleoboy1

    Anyone remembers "John Mirra" from Max Payne 1 &2 ?
  • mrnothing
    There isnt anything i totally disagree with, except 7. 4k tvs wont start becomming mainstroeam until content producers start producing. Whats the point in having something that plays 3840*2160 if youtube doesnt support it fully, blueray only plays 1080p, and games only support 2560*1600? It hasnt happened yet, even though it wouldnt be hard to implement it. Most consumers are happy with 1080p, and thus producers do not feel like putting extra work to improve content quality.
  • Khalan
    @mrnothing The content producers are probably waiting for the consumers to start buying 4k, while we wait for them before buying. It's a vicious circle, but I think it's common. Most people were happy with VHS until DVDs were mainstream, and most were happy with cassettes until CDs and now MP3s became more common. Whether or not 4k will be taken up is anyone's guess, but that's always the risk with new technology (eg. HD-DVD or Betamax) and usually requires initial consumer enthusiasm before the content starts flowing.
  • stratosrally
    How about 3D Printing? I can't believe how inexpensive they're getting. Home-based businesses should get a boost from these devices.
  • I agree with strato. 3d printing should have been included on here. I'm actually enjoying the rate of exposure it is getting, cause it is yet to reach its mainstream explosion (which as I see it is inevitable; upward trend in the press, reduced price to entry, consistent increase in share price of 3d stocks despite the 2008 recession). In terms of investment, it is still a decent buy opportunity (ignoring the fiscal drama). I've thought of the pros and cons, and have thought about why 3d printing would not succeed and explode into the mainstream. The pros highly outweigh the cons. Ask yourself what the tech can be capable of and think of scenarios the printing can be used in. Then ask yourself, "why not?"
    I'm a 3d modeller so I've been following 3d printing news consistently.
  • DRosencraft
    cosmotoI agree with strato. 3d printing should have been included on here...
    As you said, you're in the 3D modeling industry so your view is going to be influenced from that. Myself not being in the industry and seeing only a fraction of the stories you have, I see major roadblocks to 3D printing, primarily low utility. I mean, how much stuff can someone potentially do with it? If it isn't something that someone can get regular use out of, and isn't substantially cheaper than buying online or shipping at a local store, then it will end up being the type of thing only useful for small businesses where volume can override cost. I could be wrong, but like I said, from the perspective of someone not up on all the latest details 3D printing seems interesting but not entirely useful from a consumer-market standpoint.
  • CaedenV
    mrnothingThere isnt anything i totally disagree with, except 7. 4k tvs wont start becomming mainstroeam until content producers start producing. Whats the point in having something that plays 3840*2160 if youtube doesnt support it fully, blueray only plays 1080p, and games only support 2560*1600? It hasnt happened yet, even though it wouldnt be hard to implement it. Most consumers are happy with 1080p, and thus producers do not feel like putting extra work to improve content quality.Nobody said mainstream adaptation of 4K, just early adopter availability. This means that if you are willing to take out a 2nd morgage on your home to buy a TV, then you will be able to. Unlike now where you have to be someone, or know someone to even order a 4K TV... and even then you are most likely signing up for a waiting list. In 2013 the will be 'available'... just damnably expensive.
  • CaedenV
    A few things I think were missed, or I wish were coming;
    1) 3D printing. It is here, and next year it becomes 'cheap' and readily available. It's not for me... but it is some pretty awesome tech. Super stoked for this truly becoming mainstream by the time my kids are in middle school.

    2) 10Gb Ethernet for home networks. No it is not coming next year... but it should have come out last year! I mean seriously, the single largest thing that blocks power users from moving to smaller and more power efficient rigs is not the CPU or GPU capacity of said rigs, it is data throughput. GbE can only do ~120MB/s (on a really really good day it actually only does ~80GB/s). It is fast enough to stream HD content between rooms, but not fast enough to give up on local storage for power users. I can fit an i7 and a GTX680 comfortably in a cute ITX box, have it consume a moderate amount of power, and run quite silent. What I cannot give up however are HDDs, which are big, noisy, and add a sizeable amount of constant power even during low-use times. I would love to throw all of my HDDs on a home server tucked away in another room somewhere, and have a nice, small, silent box that does all of the heavy lifting... but it simply cannot be done without faster Ethernet standards!
    Similarly, we need faster Internet speeds. Personally I have few complaints about my ~20Mb/s download speed as it is 'enough' for my household, but an upload speed of 1.5Mb/s is stupid slow, and not good for doing things like Skype, or making the home server files available to my portable devices when they are off of the local network. On top of that, $50 is frankly too expensive for such internet service. For wireless service? Sure, that is an industry making changes by leaps and bounds every year. But my home internet service has been 20/1.5 for 7 years now... I am not exactly paying for them to upgrade their infrastructure as it has not changed in a looooong time. Either make my speeds faster by investing in better equipment to service my area, or else lower my monthly cost to match the cost of maintaining current gen equipment.

    3) SSDs become mainstream. I doubt that most people will consider purchasing a computing device with a HDD for their system drive by the end of 2013. For a system drive they are simply not very expensive compared to the performance boost and user experience they offer. On the network side I think we will finally see hold-outs of SSD tech won over from HDD media as well. SSDs may still have a premium up-front purchase cost, but it is not nearly as high as it use to be, and more and more network engineers are seeing the value of less power/cooling costs, higher density, and more efficient CPU usage that are brought with the SSD tech.
    Also, as part of this I think we will see the introduction of large SSDs in 2013. Controller refreshes will allow for 1TB mainstream SSDs, and 2TB SSDs which use some form of internal RAID scheme (like current gen 1TB SSDs, which is why they are so expensive). This, combined with the continued drop in prices per GB will begin to put real pressure on HDD manufacturers to produce cheaper, larger, and more reliable HDDs, and possibly drop production of sub 250GB 3.5 drives entirely.

    4) The crossover of touch and motion control for more than just mobile users. I think the introduction of leapmostion and Kinnect for PC will make people understand the design decisions for win8, and will open up a new, or at least more natural, way of interacting with computing devices. Sure, using a touch screen on a desktop is a pain in the ass, but using gesture control or motion control may not be so hard. This will not be a complete revolution (that cannot happen until voice interfaces also get an overhaul), but the beginning of a major change in how we interact with more traditional computers.

    5) Death of the laptop. The PC is not going anywhere as it is not replaced by phones and tablets... but laptops are going to die out quickly, and I think we will begin to see that next year. I just got my first smartphone (lumia 920) and love it. It quite literally replaces my need for a laptop. It has all the capabilities that I need, and most of the ones that I want (SD card and monitor hookup being on the short list of things I want to see next gen). I still need a desktop at home and in the office, but to get between point a and b I no longer need to lug around a laptop. It also replaces my MP3 player, camera, radio, clock/watch, and GPS (but not quite the video camera). They are all now powered down, and have been collecting dust for 2 weeks now with no real prospect of being touched ever again. I am mildly annoyed at having to charge up every day, and even top-off towards the end of heavy days, but compared to the number of devices replaced, while maintaining a relatively small form factor, it is a small price to pay.
    Current gen phones will not do the trick for everyone, but for most of them a tablet or next gen phone will. For power users there are ultrabook laptops, but I think everyone can agree that the traditional 'laptop' form factor is dead for everyone except for laptop gamers, and people who need to do CAD or editing workloads while on the go... but both of these are niche markets.
    The desktop still has a few years left in it, but is similarly doomed. Future dockable phones and tablets will replace the traditional desktop form factor, and 'desktops' will simply become central home servers that house personal content to a household's 'cloud' of devices. But that will not happen in 2013, I give it ~5-7 years though.

    6) A slowdown in mobile compute power. Mobile devices (specifically phones) have been seeing a 2x CPU and 3x GPU performance increase every year for the last several years, until 2012 where things slowed down just a little bit. I think we are fast approaching the threshold of 'good enough' on pixel density, screen size/quality, and overall horsepower. Next we will see a push for doing the same workloads with less power to produce better battery life rather than more performance (much like we are seeing Intel do with their CPUs). 2013 will mark the first year for the beginning of this new paradigm, but it may not be followed in full swing until 2014.
    In tablets and laptops we have already seen a major slowdown in CPU and GPU increases, and much more focus on battery life, storage, and connectivity/capability. For laptops and tablets in 2013 I think we will see a resolution spike with a push for 'retina' density displays on everything mobile as an extension to what we have already seen on phones, and with it an appropriate increase in GPU power. But after that I think the main focus from here on out is going to be on the side of better software design and battery life with a good 5-10% performance increases every year.
  • virtualban
    Was hoping to see virtual reality helmets in that list.
    But then, analysts of all sorts predict the death of the PC too, so, not to be taken seriously. What will come will come, be that Oculus Rift or Google Glass and their possible competitors.