COMPUTEX review

June 11, 2018 OpenSystems Media

This year, COMPUTEX gathered over 1,600 hardware and software suppliers from 30 countries to demonstrate their technology, solutions and products to global buyers. In the past two or three years, COMPUTEX has been affected by large exhibitions in China and easy access to information over the Internet, resulting in fewer attendees from the US and Europe and more from Japan, Korea, and South East instead. It’s a shame that they missed out on the opportunity to see the powerful and creative innovation from the cooperation between Taiwan’s local industry and universities with their own eyes.

Smart medical is no longer new, but evolving

Integrated research into aging and technology has been in the spotlight since 1991, and has emerged into the fields of ergonomics/human assistive technology, day care and medical. SEDA G-TECH is challenging gerontechnology to fulfill the needs of aging people with two-way, interactive IoT devices that track the elderly’s daily activities. Sensors are built into the carpets, beds, seats, and lights with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections to Amazon web services, as well as integrating with mobile devices, apps, cloud computing and Google services. The interaction will extended to the three-way parties, aging people, caregivers (nursing home) and the family emembers.

Where IoT really gets immersed into medical is in preventive medicine and medical imaging. ADLINK Technology, A-MIoCT (Systems integrator) and Chang-Gung University have an industry-university cooperative project with a four-part proof-of concept (PoC):

  1. Image comparison computing for “Drosophila Brain Science”
  2. Development of particle tracking algorithms for cellular mechanical property analysis 
  3. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) data analysis
  4. Medical images analytics

The architecture of the design utilizes parallel computing and runs optimized software on the ADLINK MCS-2080, a 2U 16-system server. Performance improvements range from 37% to 400% compared with general purpose servers. This PoC demonstrates a revolution in lowering of costs and time consumed as medical image sizes and quantities are much larger than those of other applications. The results of this project will be beneficial to patients, research labs, health clinics and aesthetic medicine centers.

A real-time outdoor water quality monitoring system based on the IoT

This cloud computing monitoring solution is from National Taiwan Ocean University.

The aquaculture industry is highly globalized and aquaculturists are aware of the need for strict monitoring of water quality data in order to ensure healthy fish. They currently use traditional ways to collect the data, including pH value, dissolved oxygen (DO), temperature, and oxidation reduction potential (ORP) and then evaluate the data based on past experience. There’s no recording, tracking, analysis, nor even consulting services from experts. This real-time computing platform will collect the data from the sensors, which is then uploaded to the cloud server. Using big data analysis, the system will guide aquaculturists to adjust water quality using an automatic calibration smart solution. Further advancements, including machine learning technology, automatic feeding, and automatic medicine dispensing is foreseeable. The technology for this smart solution has already started transfer to Southeast Asian countries.

IPC vendors demonstrate their power

Technexion launched the world smallest modules for smart IoT solutions, the PICO-PI-IMAX7. As a result of their close relationship with Google, Technexion is the only IPC vendor supporting Android Things. This module is based on the NXP i.MX 7Dual ARM Cortex-A7 + M4 and supports 512MB DDR3L and Android Things, a new platform from Google designed to meet IoT development challenges head on. Featuring a lighweight embedded OS, low power consumption, multiple wireless protocols and advanced security, this ultra compact solution enables innovation for smart homes, wearable healthcare devices, and smart office devices.

Industrial-grade GPU computing platform is a driving force for AI and deep learning

Neousys demonstrated their advanced GPU-accelerated computing platform, featuring NVIDIA GeForce. Nuvo-6018GC is world's first industrial-grade GPU computer supporting Intel Xeon E3 v5 or 6th Gen Core i7/i5 processors and NVIDIA GPU cards. With sophisticated power design, it guarantees operation at 60°C with 100% GPU loading. Nuvo-6018GC plays a major hardware role in Baidu's Apollo, an autonomous driving open solution. It won the COMPUTEX 2018 Best Choice award and the Bronze Award in the Vision Systems Category at the Annual Vision Systems Design Innovators Awards, held during The Vision Show in Boston, MA.

Also on display, IBASE’s affiliate WiBASE launched a new AI computer featuring NVIDIA Jetson TX2 ARM Cortex-A57 (quad-core) and Denver2 (dual-core). This system is mainly used for in-vehicle applications. With low power design in a cost-effective solution, it is the ideal edge computing product for police cars and unmanned vehicles.

Other highlights

  1. SECO demoed the world’s first FPGA SMARC 2.0 compliant module, SM-B71, with the Xilinx Zynq Ultrascale MPSoC. Operating temperature range is from -40°C to 85°C.
  2. CINCOZE demonstrated their modular designs for panel PC and rugged system solutions. With elegant and highly-recognizable designs, they provide customers another cost-effective and time-to-market solution.
  3. Vitaltouch, a local system integrator demoed its 86” 4K touch monitors, which have been widely adopted by museums, schools, exhibitors for education and touring applications.

In summary

There were an overwhelming variety of IoT applications displayed by start-up companies at COMPUTEX 2018, including applications for night clubs where sensors at the bottoms of glasses can transfer data to notify the wait staff when drinks have been finished, allowing them to immediately deliver another glass. But is this a smart way to make more money? VR technology is not only used in gaming, but has also spread into education, medical and even household settings. All successful solutions will rely on the seamless cooperation between hardware and software solution providers. Yes, in the end, the best way to monetize these applications is still the critical question for all customers.

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