Global Tech Giants Show Off Latest Hardware at Big Taipei Show

TAIPEI, Taiwan (The Street) -- The Internet is moving into devices as common as doors and light bulbs, allowing them to communicate with each other. This fast growing trend is on display this week as a who's who of IT heavyweights show off their latest hardware at the Computex Taipei show in Taiwan's capital.

Asia's largest IT show, which is being held in global tech hardware center Taiwan, is revealing which companies might stake the most on an eventually huge Internet of things market.

The tech industry sub-sector that requires sensors, processors and radio equipment will cover 29 billion enabled objects by 2020 and be worth $1.9 trillion, market research firm Gartner forecasts.

The highest-profile presenters among the 700 Computex Taipei show spaces dedicated to the Internet of things were microchip developers ARM Holdings (ARMH), Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Broadcom  (BRCM), Intel (INTC) and NVIDIA  (NVDA).

The exhibition -- expected to bring 130,000 buyers, suppliers and other visitors by its close on Saturday -- allows those companies to find a place in the Internet of things supply chain before the trend kicks into its highest gear.

"You look at some of the big growth in the venture capital market, and the Internet of things is clearly a hot topic," said Ian Drew, chief marketing officer with British microprocessor design firm ARM. "Taiwan is critical to this industry. If you want to find out what's going on in Asia, this is one of the key shows to go out and talk to people."

The Internet of things, a concept first used in 1999, refers to automated setups connecting objects such as clocks, doors, refrigerators and even cat food dispensers, allowing people's living or work spaces to operate largely on their own.

Computex exhibitors showed set-ups to automate urban infrastructure and let cars communicate without endangering drivers who might otherwise text or call.

ARM displayed chips it had designed for automated data collection in commercial spaces. Its scheme picks up numbers of people passing through a doorway, measures everyone's height (computing an average as it goes) and records the air temperature in every corner of the space.

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