By Jim Forbes
If you're looking for innovative technology, the biggest changes
may be in some small hardware: notebooks.
The first big step forward is wide-scale adoption of the PCI architecture.
This technology moves information faster than the older VL-Bus
standard, gives users a better way of hooking up other PCI-based
peripherals, and helps developers introduce a new generation of
docking solutions based on off-the-shelf parts.
Another innovation will be even easier to see: larger DSTN and
TFT screens, another trend with limited support now. Most manufacturers
are showing or planning notebooks with 11.3- and 12.1-inch active-matrix
or dual-scan passive-matrix color screens. Some are also evaluating
11.3-inch and larger screens that incorporate Sharp's Super High
Aperture display technology.
That's great for presentations; so are PCMCIA modems, which can
simultaneously transmit voice and data. While still in the planning
stages, interest in 28.8 DSVD modems is high among vendors who
want to position their machines for applications such as "whiteboarding"-technology
that allows collaborative computing over one phone line.
There's a simple reason why there's so much innovation in a market
that didn't exist until fairly recently: It's projected to grow
to more than 12 million units this year.