Supply chain
Computex reviving on multiple AI, gaming applications
Aaron Lee, Taipei; Willis Ke, DIGITIMES

Computex, which had been gradually losing its luster along with the rise of e-commerce and the slowdown of the PC industry in recent years, seems to start showing signs of revival during its 2018 edition, mainly driven by AI (artificial intelligence) and gaming applications, which stole the spotlights at the just-concluded event.

Its predecessor Taipei Computer Show was inaugurated in 1981, and was was renamed Computex Taipei in 1984 based on the proposal by Stan Shih, founder of Acer Group and then chairman of Taipei Computer Association, to better publicize Taiwan's PC R&D and manufacturing prowess.

But the rise of Internet and consequent popularity of e-commerce have undermined the importance of large-size physical electronics shows, with globally renowned CeBIT, CES and Computex all impacted. In recent years, thanks to the slowdown of PC devices and the rapid development of mobile devices, the annual Mobile World Congress (MWC) has been emerging as the most shinning stage for consumer electronics, outshining the Computex B2B platform.

But the ever-expanding gaming market scale and the rampant development of AI applications have injected fresh momentum into Computex as a crucial platform again for global buyers seeking to source a variety of gaming and AI application solutions from Taiwan makers and foreign exhibitors.

2.3 billion gamers worldwide

A study by Newzoo showed that there will be around 2.3 billion gamers worldwide in 2018, spending a whopping US$137.9 billion on games. Of the total, mobile games will account for 51% or US$70.3 billion, followed by 25% or US$34.6 billion for PC games and 24% or US$32.9 billion for games played on host computers.

Newzoo also predicted the annual global game market revenues to grow to US$180.1 billion by 2021, with a CAGR of 10.3% for 2017-2021. And the gaming sector is experiencing a deeper and wider development, with e-sports to be incorporated as a demonstration event at the upcoming Asian Games 2018 in mid-August in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The encouraging development has inspired the Taiwan IT industry to focus more on the development of diverse gaming solutions. This can be seen from a wide range of gaming exhibits at Computex 2018, ranging from gaming host computers and notebooks, game training software, and multiple parts and components such as chassis, power supplies, memory, display cards, SSD, screens, keyboards, mice, earphones and speakers, to gaming chairs and streaming equipment.

AI was another focus of attention from visitors to Computex, with many exhibitors showcasing or launching a variety of processors, software, servers, and storage solutions involving AI technologies and applications. The upcoming 5G era is expected to trigger the proliferation of ever-more AI applications, all requiring the support of PC algorithms.

All the gaming and AI-related devices, technologies and applications displayed at Computex are expected to keep fermenting in the markets to drive demand for PCs with high performance computing and storage capabilities, thus further injecting new momentum to Computex.

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