Lots of chips, not so many computers
Welcome back to Multicore for Tuesday, May 30th.
Computex Taipei is happening this week. It's the world's most important computer trade show, with the PC industry and media descending on Taiwan in force for the first time in four years. Computex did return last year with a limited in-person element, but travel restrictions were still in place and much of the event was held online.
I used to go to Computex every year and it was always worth the trip. But I'm putting this issue out a little later than usual today because, frankly, I'd expected there to be more news out of the show and I wanted to see if anything happened overnight and on Asia time. Still not so much!
It could just be that Taiwan's PC industry is readjusting to the press cycle after years where annual announcements weren't aligned to in-person events. It's also possible, as other industries have discovered, that these companies end up deciding it doesn't really make sense for launch cycles to be beholden to this kind of show in the first place.
Nvidia, which briefly hit a trillion-dollar market cap this week off the back of an unexpectedly strong revenue forecast, might be an exception. The company was founded in the US, but co-founder and CEO Jensen Huang is originally from Taiwan, and Nvidia always has a big presence at Computex.
Huang revelled in the moment near the end of Nvidia's keynote, saying the company had "too much" to announce after the pandemic stopped him from giving a presentation for four years. The keynote was typically grandiose, with Huang's usual combination of big-picture bluster and impressive product demonstrations.
Even so, Nvidia chose to announce its biggest consumer products of the year earlier this month instead. The mid-tier RTX 4060 and 4060 Ti will likely be the best-selling GPUs of Nvidia's Ada Lovelace generation, based on the huge success of the 3060, 2060, and 1060. It makes sense for Huang to use the Computex spotlight to speak about his vision and make the case for Nvidia's technical dominance; after all, it's not mid-range gaming GPUs that are fuelling the $1 trillion valuation.
Domestic PC makers Asus and Acer, meanwhile, usually announce a dizzying range of wild laptop designs at Computex. Asus in particular has a flair for the dramatic, with chairman Jonney Shih excitedly rolling out each new model on stage. This year, though, the two companies simply showed off products that had been announced over the previous several months.
Still, there is of course some news to talk about. Let's start with what Nvidia actually announced.
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