Computer Graphics World

July-Aug-Sept 2021

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j u ly • a u g u s t • s e p t e m b e r 2 0 2 1 c g w 3 1 T he computer graphics market has not been immune to the COVID-19 pandemic and had a slight drop in growth in 2021, but is expected to come roaring back in 2022. Computer graphics is not a thing, but a collection of things and people: processors, engineers, lots of memory, artists, displays and XR, technical directors, programmers, and zillions of lines of code. That collection of technologies and peo- ple which makes up the exciting CG market has, and continues, to grow — sometimes exponentially, other times with Moore's law. Growth in the dollar value of the market has leveled off a bit, but that seems normal for the extraordinary times we've been through in the past year and a half. The accompanying chart shows the growth in hardware and soware. The soware aspects of the market have been steady, and hardware segments have been varied, influenced by consumer products such as mobile devices and PC gaming ma- chines. In the hardware segment, everything gets bigger (monitors are now 49 inches) and faster (everything is expressed in GHz or TFLOPS). The computer graphics hardware market was worth $135 billion in 2019 and is expect- ed to increase to $137 billion by 2024, with soware growing slightly and a little less than hardware. The hardware segment of the CG industry has seen steady overall growth, with some ups and downs due to product cycles and the irregularity of the PC market, as well as the pandemic. The unpredictability of the supply chain has helped keep the hardware interesting. The year 2020 and the first half of 2021 have seen the introduction of new GPUs and add-in boards (AIBs) with ray-tracing capa- bilities, and several new CPUs and next-gen game consoles. The market for CG soware in 2020 was worth $18 billion (not counting services, maintenance, and other aspects), and is ex- pected to grow to almost $24 billion by 2024 as the industry continues to shi its sales model, moving more services to the cloud and transitioning to a subscriber system. For all our talk about ray tracing and rendering, the digital graphics market is still dominated by CAD/CAM. Even digital video is a bigger market than the modeling or rendering segments, and yet when one reads about CG, it's all about the special effects in games and movies. That's easy to understand. Everyone loves VFX and has experienced it. However, as hardware support for ray trac- ing becomes universal with products from AMD, Nvidia, and presumably Intel, we expect to see rendering in general working its way deeper into all production pipelines for M&E, AEC, and MFG. The evolu- tion to digital twins will help drive it. In reality, truly amazing things are hap- pening in CAD as the digital and real get connected. CAD has taken a leap, and it shows in increased revenues for all com- panies. And, although unsung, CAD is oen involved in the heavy liing of all those 3D models of cities and spaceships. The beautiful ray-traced images of automobiles, gorgeous skyscrapers, and clothing, bottles, and other consumer goods — it's all CG, and we expect to see more of it. The demand continues for programmers, artists, scientists, and designers, and despite the pandemic, we're still seeing start-ups arrive in emerging and reborn markets, such as augmented reality, virtual reality, and casual games. Artificial intelligence is playing an ever bigger role in image processing, ray tracing, and AR. The arrival of new APIs and platforms are also stimulating development. Firms are actively looking for people who can use and exploit these new programs and their associated hardware accelerators. Given the upheaval of the supply chain, offsetting the trend in dropping costs, and the increasing users and usage of CG tools and hardware, we predict that the rate of growth for the CG industry will remain fairly steady for the foreseeable future. Computer graphics is truly a worldwide industry now. Dr. Jon Peddie ( is a recognized author and pioneer in the graphics industry; president of Jon Peddie Research, a Tiburon-CA-based consultancy specializing in graphics and multimedia that also publishes JPR's "TechWatch"; and named one of the most influential analysts in the world. CG MARKET TO REACH $160B BY 2024 BY JON PEDDIE

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