On the last day of 2021, Gadgets News brings to your attention the traditional summing up of the outgoing year. As usual, we remind you that we are talking about events and announcements about which our editorial team spoke about throughout the year.
Unfortunately, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has become the main trend in 2021 – over the past two years, it has claimed almost 5.5 million lives, as well as an acute shortage of processors. Because of this, there continues to be a shortage of a huge variety of goods where they are used – from game consoles to cars.
By the way, it was in automotive industry a significant event happened – Tesla’s market capitalization exceeded one trillion dollars. And the market has good reason to value so highly the value of the world’s most successful EV manufacturer. Here is what the statistics of sales of all-electric vehicles (BEV) in November 2021 for selected European countries looks like:
- Norway – 73.8%
- Netherlands – 28%
- Sweden – 26%
- Germany – 20.3%
- United Kingdom – 18.8%
- France – 13.5%
- Italy – 6.5%
It is curious that in Europe as a whole, sales of all-electric cars in November 2021 were the same as in China – 15%. As for the United States, in January-October 2021, electric vehicles accounted for a modest 2.9% (a year ago – 1.7%). It is doubtful that the dynamics of growth in sales of electric vehicles in China and Europe will continue over the coming years, but there is reason to expect that by the end of the decade, one in two cars sold in the world will be fully electric.
Speaking of electric vehicles, one cannot fail to mention the impressive success demonstrated by Tesla’s autopilot (current version is FSD Beta 10.7). He is already able to drive a car in difficult urban conditions, although while the reliability of the autopilot is poor, periodic driver intervention is still required. The self-driving car concept inspired Tesla to begin developing a humanoid robot.
This year, another brainchild of Elon Musk can boast of success. SpaceX… In May, the fifth test flight was completed by the prototype of the Starship super-heavy rocket, and unlike four previous attempts, it was successful. In turn, the company’s workhorse, the Falcon 9, boasts 11 uses of the same first stage instance (B1051). Another copy (B1049) has already flown 10 times, and two others (B1058 and B1060) – 9 times. The total number of successful launches (and landings, not counting one unsuccessful) performed by Falcon 9 reached 31 in 2021 (Roscosmos – 25). The number of Starlink Internet communication satellites on LEO from May 2019 to the present has reached almost two thousand (1,944), while the average speed characteristics are head and shoulders above the competitors (data for the 2nd half of 2021):
|Download (Mbps)||Latency (ms)|
|Broadband Internet in the USA||119.84||15|
Despite the obvious achievements of the company he leads, in November Elon Musk sent his employees a letter in which he complained about the crisis in the production of Raptor engines and said that “We face a real risk of bankruptcy if next year we are unable to maintain Starship’s frequency of flights at least once every two weeks.”.
However, this letter may not so much reflect reality as motivate SpaceX personnel to work more selflessly and productively. Compared to the first half of 2021 (97.23 Mbps), Starlink’s speed has slightly decreased – the number of service users is growing much faster than the bandwidth of the satellite constellation. If the number of satellites in orbit this year has grown by almost 2.5 times, then the number of subscribers – from 10 thousand in February to 140 thousand in November. Perhaps this is the reason for the dramatic tone of the letter – Starship is required to accelerate the build-up of satellites in orbit. And of course, you shouldn’t forget about Mars. The other day, in an interview, Musk outlined the approximate dates for sending the first people to the Red Planet by SpaceX – from 5 to 10 years.
Other space startups have some achievements as well. Founded in 2016, Astra, on the 4th attempt, was able to successfully bring a cargo mock up to LEO using the lightweight Rocket 3.3. In turn, another company, Rocket Lab, showed off its next rocket, Neutron. And although we did not talk about this in our blog, it should be noted such important space events of this year as the landing of the American and Chinese rovers on Mars (in February and May, respectively), as well as the long-awaited launch to the Lagrange point of the James Webb infrared space telescope.
In the area of computing technology Perhaps the main event was the announcement of Windows 11, which received support for widgets and Android applications. Even more ambitious is Facebook’s virtual universe project, the importance of which Mark Zuckerberg has demonstrated by renaming his company Meta. True, the practical application of this idea in the coming years, despite the huge potential of virtual reality as such, is still in question.
Of the computer hardware, it is worth noting:
1) Apple M1 Max;
2) six desktop representatives of the Intel Alder Lake family;
3) Cerebras WSE-2 with 2.6 trillion transistors;
4) 2-nm IBM processor with 50 billion transistors on a chip with an area of 150 mm2;
5) AMD Instinct MI250x and Intel Ponte Vecchio Xe-HPC graphics accelerators.
Gaming market this year was marked by the announcement of the Steam Deck and the release of the OLED version of the Nintendo Switch, and from the development artificial intelligence worth mentioning are the Megatron-Turing NLG, Intel’s Loihi 2 neuromorphic processor, and Samsung’s concept of copying and pasting neural connections in the brain on neuromorphic chips.
On the market smartphones Perhaps the main novelty is the Pixel 6 with the Google Tensor processor. The performance of the latter clearly falls short of the Snapdragon 888, but overall, Google’s debut can be considered quite successful. The year was also rich in smartphones with flexible displays – in 2021 the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 and Z Flip3, Huawei Mate X2 and P50 Pocket, Oppo X 2021 (concept) and Find N, and Xiaomi Mi MIX Fold were announced.
This is not a complete list of interesting events and announcements that we will remember the outgoing year. The team of Gadgets News authors wishes you a Happy New Year and Merry Christmas, and wishes you health, happiness and good luck!
We want to give thanks to the writer of this article for this incredible material
Results of 2021 and New Year’s greetings from Gadgets News | Gadgets News