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Will CES 2008 live up to the iPhone?

This year, green is gold at CES. Companies are clamouring to become known as environmental allies with less-toxic or more power-efficient PC gear. Expected products range from a PC made from corn by Fujitsu to a laptop PC from Asustek that uses bamboo for its casing. The Fujitsu PC uses plastics made from bio-degradable products, including castor beans and, its US publicist says, corn. Does that really make the casing bio-degradable? In the end, the company will have to prove the casings do break down, and how long it takes. If it can't, then hopefully Fujitsu will be a good corporate citizen and offer a free-recycling program to buyers.

Other companies are expected to show off energy-efficient components such as microprocessors, memory chips, batteries and other gear, as well as full systems including servers, PCs, laptops and more.

Automotive electronics will be more prominent at this year's CES. And it's more than GPS (global positioning system) devices (of which, there will be many). Rick Wagoner [CQ], chairman and CEO of General Motors (GM), will give a keynote speech at CES, purportedly about new technology for cars.

Electronics have found their way into more parts of cars, including orchestrating how hybrid cars use different power sources such as gas and electricity. Other car technologies include software to allow you to tell your car to turn on the radio or answer the phone, such as Sync, so you can keep your hands on the wheel.

There will be plenty of new stuff to check out at CES. But we'll have to see if it can beat out the Macworld expo for this year's technology spotlight.

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