HEXUS has previously reported on the initial and potential impacts of the coronavirus 2019-nCoV virus outbreak on hardware manufacturing. Last week it became apparent that some of our most eagerly anticipated trade shows could be impacted too. For example the 2003 Computex was delayed from June until September 2003, but so far this year the Computex show organisers, TAITRA, have said the show will go on as planned on 2-6th June 2020 in Taipei, Taiwan.
Computex 2020 is still several months away and understandably the organisers are getting ready but will surely have some contingency plans being formed. Again looking back to the 2003 show, a poll was taken in April and it was then decided to delay the show. Taiwan became officially 'all clear' of SARS in July of that year and a couple of months later the show was held.
Much closer to us at this moment is the MWC in Barcelona, Spain. Spain has just a single nCoV case at the time of writing but attendees and organisers are worried the attracting so many folk from areas where virus infection counts are much larger is a bad idea. A fortnight from now the event opens its doors for almost a full week of mobile tech promotions and networking of businesses and media. Last week we mentioned that LG had decided to cancel its appearance in the Barcelona expo. Over recent days other big names in mobile tech like ZTE and Ericsson have joined them in flagging their intended absence.
Just ahead of the weekend Nvidia made an official statement about its MWC 2020 presence. "We've informed GSMA, the organizers of MWC Barcelona, that we won't be sending our employees to this year's event," began the press release. Nvidia said it had been looking forward to sharing its work in AI, 5G and vRAN with the industry but that "given public health risks around the coronavirus, ensuring the safety of our colleagues, partners and customers is our highest concern."
Nvidia's GTC conference in San Jose is scheduled to begin six week from now. It is expected to be the event where the first Ampere GPUs will be unveiled.
MWC enhanced measures
If you look at the MWC home page you will see that Nvidia was indeed given top billing and is a sponsor of the AI event topics category at the show. The aforementioned GSMA will implement the following enhanced measures for personal safety, at the show:
- All travellers from the Hubei province will not be permitted access to the event*
- All travellers who have been in China will need to demonstrate proof they have been outside of China 14 days prior to the event (passport stamp, health certificate)
- Temperature screening will be implemented
- Attendees will need to self-certify they have not been in contact with anyone infected.
Additionally there will be increased cleaning and disinfection programs in place during the show, double the medical staff on site, sanitising materials available for the public, a no handshake policy, and a 24 hours security and medical hotline for everyone who comes to the show.