The year 2020 is coming to an end. We can already sum up its results: the year was rich in IT events. Let’s remember all the brightest and most significant: the release of new processors, video cards, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles, and, finally, the long-awaited game Cyberpunk 2077.
One of the main IT events in 2020 was the release of AMD Zen 3 processors. The new processors perform well both in work tasks and in games, bypassing competing solutions from Intel. The energy efficiency of the new products is also up to the mark, which, combined with the high price, turned the situation on the processor market: for the first time in many years, solutions from AMD turned out to be faster, more energy efficient, but also more expensive than their counterparts from Intel.
AMD Ryzen 4000 series APUs are coming in 2020 with Zen 2 architecture. The flagship model is the Ryzen 7 4700G with 8 cores / 16 threads, TDP 65W, and frequencies up to 4.4 GHz. And the lineup of Zen 2 processors for the desktop received versions with the XT index – with higher frequencies.
AMD Ryzen 9 3900XT BOX processor
Intel introduced new Comet Lake desktop processors in 2020, using older architecture and process technology, but with an updated LGA1200 socket. The flagship models received 10 cores with support for hypertrading, and the six-core Core i5-10400F becomes the leader of user liking, which is significantly cheaper than its competitor – Ryzen 5 3600.
Intel Core i5-10400F OEM Processor 12599 *
In the mobile segment, Intel introduced 10nm Tiger Lake processors with frequencies that have significantly increased relative to Ice Lake.
A promising 16-core processor Elbrus-16S was presented in Russia. It has a frequency of 2 GHz, performance up to 1.5 TFlops single precision and 750 GFlops double precision, and uses a 16 nm process technology.
New graphics cards
NVIDIA releases video cards based on the Ampere architecture. Performance has grown decently, especially the speed of ray tracing has increased, and finally a comfortable game in 4K mode has become available (excluding Cyberpunk 2077, but more on that below).
Nevertheless, there is a noticeable trend towards an increase in the power consumption of new products: the GeForce RTX 3080 has a TBP / TDP of 320 watts, and the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti has 200 watts.
Palit GeForce RTX 3090 GamingPro OC [NED3090019SB-132BA] 309 999 *
AMD introduces RDNA 2 graphics cards with full DX12 Ultimate support, including ray tracing. The Radeon RX 6800 XT competes with the GeForce RTX 3080 with 6GB more VRAM and comparable power consumption.
Sapphire Radeon RX 6800 XT Nitro +
The release of new video cards was overshadowed by another mining boom. The Bitcoin exchange rate set a new record, triggering a surge in mining that has become profitable again. Miners are buying up video cards en masse, which negatively affected both prices and their availability.
New generation game consoles release
In 2020, the Sony PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X / S consoles came out. They forced users to split again into two camps and argue with fervor which one is better. The console from Sony comes in two versions with a UHD Blu-ray drive. And the new Xbox will be sold in both the powerful version of the Xbox Series X and the simpler and cheaper Xbox Series S.
Microsoft Xbox Series X Game Console
Internet users criticized the design of the new PlayStation and Xbox, generating thousands of memes and cartoons. But overall, the consoles are pretty good.
One of the main differences between the new products is support for 5G networks, which will provide ultra-fast Internet and significantly reduce energy consumption. The second trend of 2020 in the field of mobile devices is eSIM. They are gradually taking over the Russian market as well.
Apple has introduced new smartphones of the iPhone 12 series. The devices are based on the A14 Bionic chipset and have a glass case with a new Ceramic Shield coating, which is four times stronger than on the previous model.
Google unveiled the Google Pixel 4a, a compact Android 10 smartphone that boasts excellent performance and a high-quality 90Hz OLED display. The world’s first smartphones with Android 11 are also presented – Google Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G. The novelties are based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G platform, are equipped with OLED screens and are positioned as “strong middlings”.
And finally, one of the important trends of the outgoing 2020 was the development of foldable phones, however, the most significant innovations in this area are likely to await us next year.
The spread of 5G and the struggle of conspiracy theorists with the towers
The fifth generation standard for cellular networks began to be implemented last year, but it was in 2020 that the infrastructure was deployed and devices were presented that allow using 5G.
The standard uses different frequencies, thus providing improved bandwidth and, accordingly, high download speeds. This required the installation of new towers, which, moreover, need to be installed more often than equipment for 4G.
Simultaneously with the commissioning of 5G networks, fakes about their relationship with the COVID-19 pandemic have been actively spreading on the Internet. Around the world, 5G communication towers have been set on fire. Great Britain especially distinguished itself, where the number of arsons reached several dozen.
In 2020, new standards were adopted that will affect the development of the industry in the next few years. For example, JEDEC publishes the DDR5 SDRAM standard with a doubling of performance and a noticeable increase in energy efficiency. The International Serial ATA Consortium (SATA-IO) has released the SATA Revision 3.5 specifications promising performance gains and improved I / O integration. 5 years after the announcement of Thunderbolt 3, Intel introduced the high-speed Thunderbolt 4 interface. It promises to be the most versatile interface. Its performance has increased, it has become possible to connect two monitors with 4K resolution or one with 8K resolution, and other useful functions have been proposed.
The AMD platform introduced support for PCI Express 4.0, and in 2020 it became possible to buy SSD-drives that can already realize the significantly increased PCI Express speeds.500 GB SSD M.2 drive Samsung 980 PRO [MZ-V8P500BW] 11 599 *
Events from the world of operating systems
In 2020, Windows had two notable anniversaries: the 25th anniversary of the legendary Windows 95, which determined the vector of development of user OS for years. And as many as 35 years have passed since the release of Windows 1.0, which replaced MS-DOS. Scrollbars, dialog boxes, applications such as Notepad and Paint, and mouse support were all introduced in Windows 1.0 and remain largely unchanged in our operating systems.
On January 14, 2020, Microsoft ended extended support for Windows 7 for general users. Windows 7 was released more than ten years ago – on July 22, 2009 and still had a lot of users, but the end of support caused their massive migration to Windows 10. The churn of users on the Steam service is especially noticeable – as of November 2020, 92.51% of its users use Windows 10 and only 5.48% – Windows 7.
Windows 10 received two updates in 2020 – the May 2020 Update and the October 2020 Update. Windows 10 May 2020 Update has an extensive list of issues . The launch of the October update went smoother. Now Microsoft is working on a global update for Windows 10. It is promised to be presented next year.
Apple released the new Big Sur OS in 2020. The novelty features the most significant update since the release of Mac OS X. The OS includes a new design, refined and improved Safari browser, Messages, Maps, increased privacy protection and support for the new Apple M1 chip on the ARM architecture.
After eight years of waiting, Cyberpunk 2077 came out. The game editions gave it a very high rating, on Metacritic PC the game received a 90/100 review rating, but on Steam, Cyberpunk 2077 has only 79% positive reviews. This is due to technical problems.
The game’s performance was an unpleasant surprise for the players – even the RTX 3090 and RX 6900 XT were unable to deliver 60 FPS in 4K resolution.
Especially the performance of Cyberpunk 2077 on the PlayStation 4 console, where the game is almost unplayable, is especially sad. Sony has begun to return money to disgruntled customers, even if they spent more than two hours in the game.
Epic Games was also a big buzz in 2020, suing Apple and Google over the removal of Fortnite from their app stores. In addition, Epic Games is remembered for another event. The company arranged a grand distribution of games: Grand Theft Auto V, Sid Meier’s Civilization VI, Watch Dogs 2 and dozens of other titles.
If we talk about the trends of 2020, first of all, we can name video game streaming, the largest platforms for it are Twitch and YouTube. New gamer stars are emerging, and this segment of the gaming market is still expanding. Another important trend has been the rapid expansion of the mobile segment. The number of those who play their smartphone is steadily growing. Growth is expected next year as well. In 2020, the trend of the development of cross-platform games has reached its climax. For example, Fortnite helped Epic Games build a huge user base that provided developers with exceptional influence over platform deals. Finally, games are becoming more immersive and realistic thanks to advanced graphics, virtual and augmented reality, and other modern technologies.
Chinese TikTok service is gaining incredible popularity in 2020. He has spawned many new trends, memes, stars and hits. However, this led to negative consequences: the United States is trying to ban it, forcing the owner, ByteDance, to sell TikTok. Potential buyers included Microsoft, but Trump eventually approved Oracle’s purchase of TikTok.
In 2020, everything is ready for mass chipping of the population
Elon Musk presented an improved brain-computer interface – Neuralink V2. This is the second version of the interface. At the same time, Musk showed the device for chipping. The automated surgical system is capable of implanting 1,024 5 micron-thick electrodes into the brain. However, so far her work has been tested only on animals.
The electrodes are connected to a link 0.9 chip, which is inserted into a small hole drilled into the skull. The installation procedure takes no more than an hour and does not even require anesthesia.
First of all, the technology is addressed to those who are experiencing various health problems. The chip is expected to help owners of bionic limbs, visually impaired and hard of hearing, recognize heart attacks and strokes.
The chip monitors brain signals and sends out electrical impulses, which may alert those wary of surveillance and remote control of the chip wearer. It should be noted that in 2020, according to repeated polls, chipping has become one of the main phobias of the world’s population. According to rumors, implantation technologies similar to those shown in Cyberpunk 2077 have already been developed and are almost ready for use in real life. Bill Gates is usually the main villain on the Internet, but Elon Musk famously beat him at the turn this year. For Musk, 2020 has been a year full of successful events, but in 2021 he has an illusory chance to take away the title of main villain from Gates.
Roskomnadzor unblocked Telegram
On June 18, Roskomnadzor announced the unblocking of the Telegram messenger in Russia. The department explained that this happened after agreement with the General Prosecutor’s Office.
So the almost two-year unsuccessful struggle with the popular messenger ended. The final victory of the messenger was marked by the official Roskomnadzor channel, created in Telegram in November 2020.
First ever privately manned space launch
SpaceX, led by Elon Musk, has carried out the manned launch of the Crew Dragon spacecraft. It was launched into orbit by a Falcon 9 rocket from the Cape Canaveral launch site (Florida, USA). On board the ship were two American astronauts – Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley. They were taken to the International Space Station. Crew Dragon remained docked to the ISS for more than 2 months, after which it returned safely to Earth.
The flight opens a new era in space exploration. Elon Musk is already talking about flights to the Moon and Mars, which should take place in the foreseeable future. And in the latter case, in his opinion, the colonists will fly to the planet. Artificial intelligence and neural networks will help them in this, the development of which is also considered one of the trends of 2020.