As always, there was something for everyone at 2024’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The sprawling extravaganza had its usual array of eye-popping technologies. Flying cars? Check. Transparent flat-panel TVs? Check. The world’s fastest shoes? Check (I ought to investigate those for next year’s CES). Not to mention the overlay of some form of artificial intelligence (AI) in some fashion onto just about everything under the sun.
Truth be told, I didn’t come across any of those above-mentioned innovations, but that’s because I was busy seeking out impressive displays of technology and product launches in our beloved wireless space. Along the way, I had some highly informative meetings with industry experts. Here are a few of the highlights of my 2024 CES:
- Rohde & Schwarz: A meeting with high-level execs at R&S can’t help but be interesting and enlightening. I spent some time with Juergen Meyer, VP of R&S’s automotive market segment and COO Chris Eriksen to talk about technology trends in the automotive arena. Connectivity, once just for mobile calls from the car, is broadening out into streaming media and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) applications. In coming years, look for non-terrestrial networks (NTNs), 5G reduced capability (RedCap) chipsets, and 4D imaging radar to emerge in automotive settings. In addition, expect 130-GHz ADAS radar to solve today’s interference issues and eventually displace LiDAR in vehicular applications. I had a look at the company’s new production-test capabilities for electric/hybrid-vehicle batteries.
- Knowles: Known for its micro-acoustic microphones and speakers, Knowles came to CES armed with its latest innovation—the V2S200D digital voice vibration sensor. The minuscule device is a veritable Swiss Army knife of call-quality and voice-detection capabilities. Knowles’s Nikolay Skovorodnikov, senior manager of applications engineering for MEMS microphones, ushered me into the company’s suite for several demos of the V2S2000D’s utility in automotive, medical, and smart-home applications.
- Skyworks: CES was all about front-end modules, network infrastructure, automotive, and audio products for this leader in all manner of RF-related components and RFICs. Stefan Fulga, Senior Director of Product Marketing, IoT Verticals, gave me the rundown on the company’s SKY66122-11 front-end module (FEM) for high-power ISM, Wi-SUN, and other IoT uses from 863 to 928 MHz. Application Staff Engineer Namdu Ku showed off the SKY5A2105 5.9-GHz FEM for C-V2X LTE and 5G NR applications. Meanwhile, John Motter, manager of engineering services for AI solutions, demoed the SKY76305 cognitive wireless SoC, which Panasonic tapped for its latest wearable immersive gaming speaker system.
All told, CES 2024 was an overwhelming experience as always. I took some lessons from last year’s edition (my first CES in a long career of covering technology) and did a better job of scheduling meetings to avoid cross-venue sprints. I also built in a few extra minutes here and there to wander around and have fun gaping at things like autonomous vehicles.
The only disappointment at CES was arriving for a meeting with the folks from TDK Corp. and learning I’d just missed the great Stevie Wonder! Apparently, Stevie visits CES from his home in Los Angeles to get caught up on the latest gadgets. He’d been a spokesman for TDK back in its heyday as a maker of cassette tapes. Oh well, I’ll have to get to TDK a little earlier next year.