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Here’s What We’re Looking Forward to at Computex 2017

Taiwan’s premiere tech showcase is going on all this week.

Computex, one of the world’s biggest tech trade shows, just kicked off in Taipei, Taiwan. Over the years, Computex has been a big forum for raw power — we’ve seen Intel often unveil their latest generation of processors here, and just last year both Nvidia and AMD announced big leaps forward in their GPUs.

It’s big news for anyone looking to build or buy a high-powered PC. While that sometimes means professionals, at Computex, it almost always means gamers. It’s little wonder that virtual reality was a huge part of last year’s show, although we’re not so sure that’ll be as true this year. Instead, we’ll see a lot of the hardware that goes into powering VR — big announcements from Intel, AMD, and Nvidia are expected.

But, gaming is just one part of this year’s show. At today’s opening press conference, Walter Yeh, the CEO of TAITRA (one of the organizing bodies behind Computex), outlined five themes for the week — AI and robotics, the internet of things, innovations and startups, business, and, of course, gaming.

We’ve heard a lot of rumors about some of the announcements in store for this week covering all of those themes, and while we’re not sure how many of those will end up being true, there are some high level trends we’re very much expecting to see at Computex 2017.

Cheaper Performance PCs

For anyone really into making their own PCs, “cheaper performance PCs” probably means three letters — AMD. AMD has making affordable, fairly capable GPUs in competition with Nvidia for a while now, but they’ve seriously fallen behind Intel in the CPU game. We’re expecting AMD to reverse that trend this year, as their new Ryzen CPUs start making their way into more PCs from big-name manufacturers. We don’t think they’ll give Intel competition in terms of raw power, but we are expecting pretty good PCs at prices that will make a lot of people start thinking a little more about AMD. That should translate to cheaper VR, too.

Software and Services

We’re especially excited to check out InnoVEX, the part of the show dedicated to startups. While the bulk of these startups are from Taiwan, this year’s show has attracted small companies from around the world, including France, the Netherlands, the United States, and quite a few more. Taiwan is in the midst of economic shift away from reliance on hardware and semiconductor manufacturing, so it’ll be interesting to see what kind of new ideas will be on display here.

AI and Robotics

The power of AI — both in the cloud and in individual devices — is tied directly to all those high-powered processors that are in development. Merging those advances in AI with robots, more so than advances in AI software, is what we’re expecting at Computex 2017. That could start with Asus’ charming Zenbo, who debuted at last year’s show. We know Zenbo has launched in Taiwan since then, but we haven’t heard too much else about him. That could change this week, but we’re sure he’ll have company — and we’ll be on the lookout!

Disclosure: Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), an organizer of COMPUTEX, covered our travel expenses to attend COMPUTEX 2017. All thoughts and opinions are 100% our own.