Over the last 50 years, technology has been improving exponentially, with the last fifteen years being a prime example of our rapid technological growth. Much of this can be explained by something called Moore’s Law, a prediction made by Gordon E. Moore back in 1965.
Moore’s Law was based on observations he made about the growing number of components per square inch on semi-conductors. In an article he penned for Electronics magazine, Moore wrote that one could expect the number of components per square inch to double every year for the next 10 years.
This prediction of such exponential growth was taken as a challenge by the technological industry, with many big players today saying that without Moore’s Law, technology might not have developed as rapidly as it did.
Technology still continues to improve dramatically and 2015 is certainly no exception. But, with new technology comes new terminology, and with new terminology comes new acronyms.
Here are 10 acronyms and their meanings that you need to know in 2015.
Standing for Long-term Evolution Time Division Duplex, LTE-TDD is a standard of 4G communications technology. LTE-FDD, another standard of 4G, is similar, although more localized to the UK, whereas LTE-TDD is more popular worldwide, particularly in Asia and the Pacific.
At its core, LTE-TDD is merely a method of transmitting and receiving mobile data and phone calls between your cell phone and a local phone tower. Unlike FDD, transmitting and receiving data occur on the same frequency with TDD, with each occurring for just a brief second and alternating back and forth. This allows for more bandwidth to be available for the user, particularly when browsing the Internet. We’ve actually published an interesting article about duplex communication system, which you should definitely read.
LTE-TDD has grown considerably in usage since 2011 when China Mobile began to test the standard in six cities. In fact, Ovum Ltd. reported in 2012 that by 2016 LTE-TDD connections are expected to comprise up to 25% of all LTE connections. Earlier this year, Apple released SIM-free iPhone 6s and 6 pluses that are compatible with four LTE-TDD bands, and other companies including LG, Samsung, and Nokia have indicated that they plan to release LTE-TDD compatible devices in the future.
With the introduction of IPv6 and the massive increase in IP address availability, we now are in a position where we could not only assign an address to every atom on the surface of the earth. Heart implant monitors, or automobiles with sensors that alert the driver when tire pressure is low, or even animals with biochip transponders could quite easily be assigned IP addresses that would allow for information to be transferred over a network.
That network can be referred to as IoT, or the Internet of Things.
The Internet of Things allows for the Internet and network connectivity to be used in fields such as healthcare, manufacturing, or even transportation. Last year at Clemont Ferrand University Hospital in France, for example, medical devices and other data existing in various systems were combined into one single Windows-based interface and then first deployed in the ICU. Instead of the nurses needing to take vitals every 10 to 15 minutes, the system could actively and continuously track vitals, allowing for greater nurse efficiency. The system was later developed to encompass the entire hospital, and so far has been a success.
After 3D television ended up not taking off as well as had been hoped, developers began looking elsewhere for ways to engage viewers. UltraHD with 4Kp60 resolution became the answer. However, the broadband demands associated with UltraHD streaming, as well as the lack of hardware support for 4K, has been enough in keeping UltraHD TVs out of the hands of the average consumer.
Then, in April of 2015, Blonder Tongue and Vanguard Video partnered to create a specialized HEVC encoder capable of handling the demands of streaming UltraHD. This encoder will allow users to stream UltraHD as they pleased, while halving bandwidth requirements for 4Kp60.
While the technology may still be a little out of reach for most consumers now, one can expect that with the development of this encoder that we’ll be seeing more and more products designed to ease UltraHD’s technical requirements while also allowing for a little more access by casual consumers.
In our quest for smaller SSDs (solid state drives) with more and more memory, some thinking outside of the box has become necessary. But SSD research is costly, as are the resources necessary for development and innovation. Companies that are able to produce their own NAND flash memory are in a better position to push the limits of currently available technology.
Samsung is one such company which produces its own NAND flash memory, and is thus better able to experiment with advancing the technology. What they have come up with is 3D V-NAND, a technology that allows for multiple cell layers (32 layers in this case) to be stacked on top of one another, on a single NAND chip. This allows for greater storage space without having to increase the size of the SSD, or decreasing the size of the memory cells. When memory cells have been made to be very small and crammed very closely on a NAND chip with one another, interference can drastically affect the speed of the SSD.
With the recent release of Samsung’s 3D V-NAND, it is only a matter of time before other large technology manufacturing companies follow suit in developing their own versions.
Formerly known as Next Generation Form Factor, M.2 is a new form of SSD drive that’s smaller and faster the SSD drives we know today. It accomplishes greater transfer speeds by overcoming the speed limitations of using a SATA controller. In fact, because M.2 connects directly to the PCI-E bus, the only limit is the speed of the driver itself.
Theoretically, it could reach speeds of up to 2 Gbps, making it three times faster than SATA III, the previous standard. M.2 SSD drives are expected to increase transfer speeds of SSDs while simultaneously allowing for laptops to become smaller and smaller.
With the signs of climate change becoming more and more apparent which each passing year, more of an emphasis has been placed on the use of EVs, or electric vehicles. Electric vehicles run on motors that rely solely on rechargeable battery packs for power. Hailed for their superior performance and low environmental impact, more and more consumers are seeking out the new, stylish EVs rather than the dirty vehicles built with internal combustion engines.
Unfortunately, EVs do have some drawbacks, particularly where batteries are concerned although manufacturers are addressing these issues. For one, a driver can expect to drive about 100 to 200 miles before needing to recharge, where many vehicles using gasoline can travel closer to 300 miles on a single tank. Fully recharging can take 4 to 8 hours, and just charging to 80% capacity still takes more than half an hour. The rechargeable battery packs are a bit more expensive than traditional car batteries as well.
Despite these weaknesses, more and more environmentally-conscious consumers with the money to spare (as EVs are very expensive) are choosing cleaner vehicles over vehicles with internal combustion engines. With sales predicted to rise during the summer, the next six months of 2015 should prove to be very interesting for the future of EVs.
An umbrella term, software-defined networking is an approach to networking that allows control to be separated from the physical infrastructure. A network administrator can tend to a network’s needs, such as traffic shaping (a way to regulate data transfer on a network), from a single central console, or even direct services as required to various parts of the network without having to consider what a server or other device may be connected to.
In order for SDN to be implemented, the server needs to be virtualized and carefully programmed to ensure automation. Applications on the virtualized server, called switches, are required for efficient sending and receiving of data packets.
Because SDNs are considered to be more manageable, adaptable, and cost-effective, more and more businesses and websites with high bandwidth usage are finding this alternative to traditional networking attractive and sustainable.
Network Functions Virtualization, or NFV, is an initiative to cut back on the use of proprietary hardware in networking by virtualizing the network services as much as possible. By keeping a bulk of the network services virtual, the need for dedicated hardware diminishes, and administrators are able to launch and operate services without requiring the purchase of expensive dedicated hardware.
NFV also allows for greater efficiency within IT departments. Applications requiring more bandwidth could be moved to physical servers, while less powerful applications could easily run on virtual machines without much waste.
Like SDN, NFV has its challenges in implementation. However, the success some data centers have had with implementing such technology are showing that there may be some sort of future in virtual networks.
With many recent laptops not even reaching an inch at their thickest points, a need for a replacement for the USB connectors we’ve been using for years has emerged. USB-C is the new industry standard that is predicted to replace out-dated and oversized USB connectors.
Developed by the USB Implementers Forum which boasts a membership of over 700 companies including Apple and Dell, USB-C is roughly the size of a micro USB connector. Not only that, it’s wicked fast at 10 Gbps and is fully electrically compatible with USB 3.0. However, USB-C will require an adaptor to use in USB 3.0 ports. Luckily, Apple is currently selling a decent USB to USB-C adaptor for under $20.
Although self-driving cars are largely considered to be a luxury of the future, modern automobiles are being designed and released with Advanced Driver Assistant Systems. These systems are designed to enhance the safety of the driver as well as that of other drivers while on the road. Rear/front-view cameras and automatic braking are two more commonly seen forms of ADAS.
With ADAS technology being explored as a way to cut down on the dangers that come with driving, the installation of much of that technology could end up being legally required.
Back in 2014, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that it would require manufacturers to install rear-view cameras on all new automobiles under 10,000 lbs by May 2018. Alcohol ignition interlock devices are another form of ADAS that may be required in vehicles in the future.
Do you have experience with any of the technologies mentioned here? Are there any other acronyms you feel should be common knowledge for tech enthusiasts in 2015? Leave a comment below and tell me about it!
Image credits: M.2 and mSATA SSDs from Wikimedia Commons