The hottest technology of 2007

The Tech.co.uk team picks its favourites

This year, the Java-based software phones needed to manage the chips properly really came of age - this, coupled with a rapid spread of RFID terminals from corners shops to supermarkets, has made them easy to use, flexible and incredibly useful.

So much so in fact, the thought of ever having to use a phone that can't get me on a bus or train and pay for everything from newspapers through to the Christmas shopping appeals about as much as going back to a 56K modem.

James Morris, writer: Intel is really back on form these days. First to quad-core processors by around a year, the company blew AMD even further down the river when it introduced its 45nm process - just as AMD was finally getting round to releasing its own quad-core parts. Codenamed Penryn, the 45nm Intel processors have a few minor architectural improvements, and 50 per cent more L2 cache. But the smaller process means they clock to high heaven. We've already seen the extreme overclocking community hit 6GHz with Penryn, and Intel launched a bona fide 3.2GHz quad-core version, the QX9770, soon after the first 3GHz one.

It may have had teething problems for some people, but the arrival of BBC's iPlayer is a huge leap forward for making Internet TV mainstream. Whilst computers still haven't found their way into many living rooms, the iPlayer brings TV you stream when you want to a big step closer.

Finally, after the Stanford Racing Team won the second Grand Challenge in 2005, Darpa upped the ante and moved the autonomously driving car competition to city streets. But at its first attempt Carnegie Mellon University's Boss has already managed to navigate Californian roads safely, winning its team $2 million in the process. Maybe robot taxis really are waiting just around the corner.

Jeremy Laird, writer: Call me predictable ( you're predictable - Ed), but it's Intel's awesome new 45nm Core 2 CPU that gets my gong for 2007. It may not lift stock-clocked performance by a huge amount. But with its sickeningly effective high-K, metal gate 45nm process technology, Intel has reversed the recent trend for spiralling current leakage and power consumption. The Core 2 Extreme QX9650 is an astonishingly parsimonious processor. Long live Moore's Law.

Elsewhere, I'm extremely pleased to see that large widescreen PC monitors have officially entered the mainstream. Hard to believe it, but 22-inch panels are heading inexorably for the £100 barrier. Even 24 inchers are sailing south of £300. And 24 inches is where really enjoyable, ergonomic computing begins - in my little world of 30-inch LCD luxury, anyway.

Finally, high definition video disks and players may not be new in 2007, but they did become affordable. For an incorrigible HD addict like yours truly, 2007 marked the beginning of major new content library - and a major new drain on my resources!