What to Expect from an All-Digital CES 2021January 06, 2021 by Luke James
With CES 2021 taking place as an all-digital show for the very first time, things are going to be a little different. Here’s a brief rundown of what to expect.
With the dawn of a new year comes the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES). But this time around, CES is being delivered in an all-digital format, rather than its usual physical form in Las Vegas.
While this means that CES is going to be very different, the show’s organizer—the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)—is embracing this as an “opportunity to reimagine how we use our platform to bring our community together in a meaningful way,” CTA President and CEO Gary Shapiro said back in July when the all-digital format for 2021 was announced.
CES 2021: Key Information
When: CES is taking place between Monday, January 11th and Thursday, January 14th, 2021. Although the event is all-digital, it’s likely that companies will make their big product reveals toward the start of the week rather than at the end.
Where: CES is usually held in Las Vegas, Nevada, at the Las Vegas Convention Center. This year, there will be no physical show floor or venues.
This will be CES' first all-digital event. Screenshot used courtesy of CTA
Registration: CES isn’t open to the public and attendees must have verifiable links to the tech industry. Registration is priced at $499, though credentialed media attendees can register for free up until January 8.
What to Expect
As the saying goes, seeing is believing. CES is known for its big product reveals from the world’s biggest names in tech, and it’s not until you get up close and personal with their latest innovations that you truly get a sense of and appreciate the achievements that have been made.
Because it’s all going to be online this year, this isn’t a possibility. What we’re expecting to see instead is a series of live-streamed announcements from the show’s bigger names and either highlights or showcases for the smaller participants like start-ups. Given that hundreds of vendors participate each year, it would be impossible for all of them to get their own exclusive airtime.
Sample of some of the featured speakers at CES 2021. Image used courtesy of the CTA
According to CTA, attendees will still be able to ask questions through real-time chat. CTA also says that meetings of up to 30 people at a time can be held, providing plenty of opportunity for networking and discussion.
To give an idea of what an average day at CES 2021 will look like, here is the complete schedule (EST) for the Monday, January 11th press-only day:
7:00–7:30 AM: Hisense
8:00–8:30 AM: LG Electronics and Bosch
9:00 AM–9:30 AM: Samsung Electronics and HERE Technologies
10:00–10:30 AM: Panasonic and Philips and Skyworth
11:00–11:30 AM: Canon and TCL and Mercedes-Benz
Noon–12:30 PM: Magna International and Kohler
1:00–1:30 PM: Intel/Mobileye
2:00–2:30 PM: OMRON Healthcare
3:00–3:30 PM: Caterpillar and CTA'S 2021 Tech Trends to Watch
4:00–4:30 PM: Schneider Electric and Taiwan Tech Arena
5:00–5:30 PM: Sony
Announcements to Look Forward to
While the show is focused on consumer electronics (hence the name), it’s not unusual for electronics manufacturers to make higher-level announcements and host discussions regarding their latest innovations in chip architecture.
Here are some highlights from NXP, Intel, and AMD:
NXP Semiconductors at CES 2021
NXP is using CES 2021 to kick off what it’s calling a “month-long journey through exclusive, immersive, and customizable programming,” with a particular area of interest being the "Unboxing NXP 2021" spotlight where NXP CTO Lars Reger will unveil the company’s latest innovations in automotive, industrial, IoT, and mobile/communication infrastructure.
NXP CTO Lars Reger provides a sneak preview of one of NXP’s latest innovations in automotive radar technology. Screenshot used courtesy of NXP Semiconductor
NXP’s focus appears to be very much on automotive this year with a panel discussion on automotive radar involving key players not only from NXP but Waymo and Aptiv, too.
Intel at CES 2021
At last year’s event, Intel launched its Tiger Lake mobile processors with much success. This year, in addition to an anticipated update regarding the Tiger Lake H-Series, rumor has it that the company plans to introduce its "Rocket Lake" desktop processors and potentially announce the 11th generation of its x86 chips. While this is not confirmed, it’s definitely possible given that Intel planned to do this at some point in Q1 2021 anyway.
What we do know is that Intel plans to hold two news conferences during CES 2021. One will be on Monday, January 11th hosted by Intel’s executive vice president and general manager of the Client Computing Group, Gregory Bryant, and various other executives, who will talk about how Intel is driving innovation in process technology, packaging, and chip architecture.
AMD at CES 2021
On Tuesday, January 12th, AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su will give a keynote speech and presentation on AMD’s vision for the future of research, education, work, and gaming. However, hints have been dropped regarding a portfolio of high-performance computing and graphics solutions that are set to be unveiled on the back of the company’s recent Xilinx acquisition, so this is certainly something to watch out for.
With AMD’s recent release of its first processors targeted toward the higher end of the desktop computing market, we may well see some new chips from the company’s Ryzen chip portfolio.
What are you looking forward to at CES 2021? Share your thoughts in the comments below.