Fall really is a wonderful time of year. The kids are back at school and still too enthusiastic about their new clothes and seeing their friends to remember that it’s a terrible soul-crushing place. It’s harvest time and business is gearing up for the holidays. There’s a lot of optimism building up
Speaking of soul-crushing, I will not mention the U.S. elections other than to say, once they are over, new growth and building can move ahead with less legislative stupidity and life can get back to normalish.
So, what happened this summer that makes me so cheerful? The computer industry seems to have gathered a little more get-up-and-go. The healthy rivalry among the workstation vendors has yielded nice crops of workstation products and inspired new GPUs and workstation graphics products from Nvidia and AMD.
It’s also pretty cool to see the steady democratization of HPC. thanks to the rise of machine learning and the proliferation of smart things that demand decoding and analysis.
The GPU is getting plenty of work to do. Do you remember when it seemed GPUs would enable great 3D experiences in the arts, and science, and design? They’re doing that and they’re going to school, learning to drive, mastering weather patterns, and managing our buildings’ electric bills.
There’s plenty of technology that seems to be on a steady, predictable slope, but when it comes to VR and AR, doesn’t it feel like there’s something magic just around the corner? We can’t see it, but we can sense a faint buzz of energy.
I think that’s the big mystery for the future. Is this the time when new technology will break through and enable the experiences we’ve been promised? The dual-camera phones are just coming on the market—but developers have yet to push them to their potential. VR headsets are still ungainly and waiting for the right content to prove the skeptics wrong. And AR seems to be all about business. But magic might well be on the way and the fourth quarter will provide important clues.—K.M.