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Competitive Intelligence - Comparing Corporate Innovation Practices

This is an extended and longitudinal analysis of Samsung and Intel that began in 2003 to 2018. Since I began writing this analysis in November 2013, it didn't…
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How did Samsung beat Intel to become #1 in Semiconductors, read the presentation that does the comparison

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Top 10 Most Valuable Tech Companies in the World

Top 10 Most Valuable Tech Companies in the World | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Top 10 Most Valuable Tech Companies in the World
Top 10 Most Valuable Tech Companies In The World

Via TechinBiz
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Nuff said on this video

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IBM, Nvidia Help U.S. Leapfrog China in Supercomputer Race

IBM, Nvidia Help U.S. Leapfrog China in Supercomputer Race | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
The U.S. has a new supercomputer and it’s twice as fast as the current record holder in China.
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The U.S. has a new supercomputer and it’s twice as fast as the current record holder in China.  International Business Machines Corp. developed the Summit computer, with help from Nvidia Corp., for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The system cost about $200 million to build, will occupy a warehouse the size of two tennis courts and be put to work on super-complex calculations that could lead to breakthroughs in fields from astrophysics to cancer research, the lab said in a statement Friday.  Summit also brings the title of world’s fastest computer back to the U.S. It comes as the race between America and China for technological supremacy is being taken more seriously by U.S. lawmakers, who are concerned about the billions China is spending on artificial intelligence and quantum computing. U.S. President Donald Trump has taken an aggressive tone toward China, blocking the takeover of chipmaker Qualcomm Inc. on national security grounds and accusing China of stealing U.S. trade secrets.  “There is a direct correlation between leadership in this area and national security implications,” said Thomas Zacharia, director

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Intel are delaying 10nm volume production again until 2019... and it’s costing them

Intel are delaying 10nm volume production again until 2019... and it’s costing them | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Richard Platt's insight:

It’s another worrying twist in Intel’s 10nm tale, and the volume ramp of their 10nm products would already have been much delayed if they'd managed their latest 2018 target. Krzanich is very confident that they’ve nailed down what the yield issues are with the 10nm production process, but that ramp could still be well over a year away.  “We continue to make progress on our 10-nanometer process,” Krzanich explained on the call. “We are shipping in low volume and yields are improving, but the rate of improvement is slower than we anticipated. As a result, volume production is moving from the second half of 2018 into 2019. We understand the yield issues and have defined improvements for them, but they will take time to implement and qualify.”

How much time will they take to implement and qualify? Understandably most of the questions that followed in the Q&A portion of the call focused on the 10mn delay, but Krzanich was unable to give any further clarification beyond a rather vague 2019 timeframe however confident he claimed to be about the lithography.  “We didn't say first or second half, but we'll do it as quickly as we can based on the yield,” he said before adding, “The transistors work. We know the performance is in line. So it's really just about getting the defects and the costs in line to where we want.”

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Samsung Set to Power the Future of High-Performance Computing and Connected Devices with Silicon (TRIZ) Innovation

Samsung Set to Power the Future of High-Performance Computing and Connected Devices with Silicon (TRIZ) Innovation | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Details were disclosed at the company’s 3rd Annual US Samsung Foundry Forum
Richard Platt's insight:

As an competitive intelligence analyst in the Semiconductor, High-Tech and Electronics industry it boggles my mind why the rest of the Semiconductor OEM's, ODM's and verticals dont' get it about what Samsung is doing using TRIZ to advance it's way past Intel to become the #1 Semiconductor OEM, which makes it's arrival at the top spot, explicitly a Strategic Inflection Point, and as I've come to see in my analysis also a "Black Swan event too.

 With comprehensive process technology roadmap updates down to 3-nanometer (nm) at the annual ‘Samsung Foundry Forum (SFF) 2018 USA’, Samsung Foundry is focused on providing customers with the tools necessary to design and manufacture powerful, yet energy-efficient system-on-chips (SoC) for a wide range of applications.  “The trend toward a smarter, connected world has the industry demanding more from silicon providers,” said Charlie Bae, executive vice president and head of the Foundry Sales & Marketing Team at Samsung Electronics. “To meet that demand, Samsung Foundry is powering innovation at the silicon level that will ultimately give people access to data, analysis, and insight in new and previously unthought-of ways (they use TRIZ methods, you knuckleheads at Intel, AMD, Google, Apple, Qualcomm, etc....) to make human lives better.-

Process Technology Roadmap Updates

  • 7LPP (7nm Low Power Plus): 7LPP, the first semiconductor process technology to use an EUV lithography solution, is scheduled to be ready for production in the second half of this year. Key IPs are under development, aiming to be completed by the first half of 2019.

 

  • 5LPE (5nm Low Power Early): Through further smart innovation from the 7LPP process, 5LPE will allow greater area scaling and ultra-low power benefits.

 

  • 4LPE/LPP (4nm Low Power Early/Plus): The use of highly mature and verified FinFET technology will be extended to the 4nm process. As the last generation of FinFET, 4nm provides a smaller cell size, improved performance, and faster ramp-up to the stable level of yield by adopting proven 5LPE, supporting easy migration.

 

  • 3GAAE/GAAP (3nm Gate-All-Around Early/Plus): 3nm process nodes adopt GAA, the next-generation device architecture. To overcome the physical scaling and performance limitations of the FinFET architecture, Samsung is developing its unique GAA technology, MBCFETTM (Multi-Bridge-Channel FET) that uses a nano-sheet device. By enhancing the gate control, the performance of 3nm nodes will be significantly improved.

 

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The Discovery of Apple's Secret Micro-LED Display Testing Plant in California Rattles Display Maker Stocks in Asia

The Discovery of Apple's Secret Micro-LED Display Testing Plant in California Rattles Display Maker Stocks in Asia | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Patently Apple has been covering Apple's work on micro-LEDs for some time now. Apple's patents have shown that one of their display teams have worked on micro-LEDs with Quantum dot technology and in context with next-gen AR smartglasses and much, much more. Today we're learning that Apple's secret plant for micro-LED testing was discovered i

Via Sara Mautino
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Patently Apple has been covering Apple's work on micro-LEDs for some time now. Apple's patents have shown that one of their display teams have worked on micro-LEDs with Quantum dot technology and in context with next-gen AR smartglasses; another Apple display team revealed their work in another patent for micro-LEDs in context with a possible future iPhone that uses liquid metal as a shape memory alloy in a folding iPhone form factor; yet another patent shows Apple's engineers working on a micro-LED display that uses 'smart-pixel' technology. More importantly, we reported back in November that Apple was working with TSMC on a micro-LED project to enhance manufacturing of future micro-LED displays which up to this point has been very difficult to reach mass production status.  We're now learning that "Apple Inc. is designing and producing its own device displays for the first time, using a secret manufacturing facility near its California headquarters to make small numbers of the screens for testing purposes, according to people familiar with the situation.

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Robotics dev kit runs new Isaac SDK on octa-core Xavier module from NVIDIA

Robotics dev kit runs new Isaac SDK on octa-core Xavier module from NVIDIA | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it

Nvidia announced an “Isaac” software developer platform for robots and other autonomous machines that runs on its Linux-friendly octa-core, ARM64 “Jetson Xavier” module with integrated high-end Volta GPU. A $1,300 dev kit is due in August.


Via Jinbuhm Kim
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Nvidia announced an “Isaac” software developer platform for robots and other autonomous machines that runs on its Linux-friendly octa-core, ARM64 “Jetson Xavier” module with integrated high-end Volta GPU. A $1,300 dev kit is due in August.

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“Always Connected” Windows on ARM machines coming this quarter --> Qualcomm

“Always Connected” Windows on ARM machines coming this quarter --> Qualcomm | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
At launch, systems from HP, Lenovo, and Asus will be available.
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Always Connected Windows 10 PCs that use Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 ARM processors will work on all four major US networks, the chip company has announced today, with T-Mobile and AT&T joining the previously announced Sprint and Verizon.

In total, 14 different network operators across 10 countries have pledged to support the new generation of ARM-powered Windows 10 laptops and tablets. Qualcomm adds that some of those network operators will also be selling the systems, though it has not specified which will be doing so.  Initially, three systems will be available. HP's Envy x2 is a tablet with detachable keyboard, as is Lenovo's Miix 630. Asus' NovaGo, in contrast, is a clamshell laptop with a 360-degree hinge to enable tablet-like operation. Qualcomm has also listed a number of retail outlets that will carry the hardware. In the US, systems will be available from Amazon and Microsoft Stores. Surprisingly, Best Buy—arguably the most important brick-and-mortar computer retailer in the US—isn't included in Qualcomm's list. If this absence is accurate, then it represents a major gap in the retail visibility and availability of the new range of systems.  Qualcomm also says that retail availability will begin "this calendar quarter," meaning that Windows 10 on ARM will be hitting shelves, or at least the webpages of online vendors, sooner rather than later.

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Leak: Galaxy Note 9 Will Look Different After All

Leak: Galaxy Note 9 Will Look Different After All | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
A new leak suggests the device might have a different fingerprint sensor placement — and be a bit thicker.
Richard Platt's insight:

The folks over at OnLeaks have obtained renders from 91Mobiles that were based on CAD information they had obtained from Samsung's factory sources. The CAD information, of course, could be erroneous or represent an older version of the device, but it might also be legitimate. And it's possible that the renderings here will reflect the real design.  If the renderings are accurate, we can expect a decidedly different Galaxy Note 9. As first reported by SamMobile, the device looks to be a bit more boxy than the previous model and comes with a horizontally aligned dual-lens camera on the back. Interestingly, the fingerprint sensor that sits just below the dual cameras is slightly higher and comes with a different design than the camera and fingerprint sensor you'll find in the Galaxy S9. Samsung's Galaxy S9+ also comes with a vertical dual-camera layout, which stands in stark contrast to the rendering.

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All the Android Things at Google I/O

All the Android Things at Google I/O | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Android Things enables you to build and maintain IoT devices at scale. We recently released Android Things 1.0 with long-term support for production devices, so you can easily take an IoT device from prototype to commercial product.

We packed Google I/O this year with Android Things content to inspire and empower the developer community, from talks and codelabs to interactive demos and a scavenger hunt. Here's a closer look at the fun stuff we had on display that you won't see on the shelves of retail stores.

Via Jesús Hernández
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Android Things enables you to build and maintain IoT devices at scale. Google recently released Android Things 1.0 with long-term support for production devices, so you can easily take an IoT device from prototype to commercial product. Google packed Google I/O this year with Android Things content to inspire and empower the developer community, from talks and codelabs to interactive demos and a scavenger hunt. Here's a closer look at the fun stuff we had on display that you won't see on the shelves of retail stores.  Google also introduced a handful of new interactive Android Things demos across I/O, showcasing the AI and ML capabilities of the platform, so if you didn't get an opportunity to attend this year, here are a few of our favorites-- perfect for exploring from wherever you are in the world!

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Foxsemicon expects capacity expansion to bring record revenues for 2018

Foxsemicon expects capacity expansion to bring record revenues for 2018 | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Semiconductor equipment maker Foxsemicon Integrated Technology, an affiliate of the Foxconn Group, has completed capacity expansions at its Kunshan (China) plants to better meet brisk market demand, which is expected to help drive up the firm's annual revenues and profits to record highs in 2018, according to company chairman YK Liu.
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Semiconductor equipment maker Foxsemicon Integrated Technology, an affiliate of the Foxconn Group, has completed capacity expansions at its Kunshan (China) plants to better meet brisk market demand, which is expected to help drive up the firm's annual revenues and profits to record highs in 2018, according to company chairman YK Liu.  At the firm's annual shareholders meeting held May 29, Liu said that global semiconductor market continues to gain significant growth momentum from the rapid development of AI, VR, AR, and IoT applications. He cited SEMI estimates as indicating that total equipment expenditures by global wafer foundry houses are expected to surge 11% on year to a record annual high of US$63 billion in 2018. Equipment expenses are estimated to grow further in 2019, when the global semiconductor production value is likely to hit US$500 billion thanks to new foundry fabs in China starting commercial runs.  Liu said that the capacity expansions at Foxsemicon's Kunshan plants will start to generate revenues in late second quarter of 2018. This, coupled with the firm's strong prowess in integrating optical, mechanical and electrical engineering technologies to upgrade the performances of automation foundry equipment and work out cutting-edge micro-pollution prevention solutions, will enable its revenues and profits to pick up at least 20% on year in 2018.  The company raked in consolidated revenues of NT$2.272 billion (US$75.58 billion) for the first quarter of 2018, soaring 29.78% on year. Its net earnings for the quarter reached NT$240 million, translating into EPS of NT$3.05, higher than the NT$2.49 of a year earlier.

Foxsemicon has decided to dole out NT$6.50 in stock dividend per share to shareholders for its lucrative business performance in 2017. The company saw its net EPS for 2017 shoot up 67.12% on year to a record high of NT$13.63, bolstered partly by robust shipments of contract-produced semiconductor equipment to a major customer - reportedly Applied Materials - and partly by its successful entry into the spare equipment supply chains.

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Samsung Electronics Partners with Avnet ASIC Israel to Strengthen Customer Support at the Forefront of ASIC Design Services

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a world leader in advanced semiconductor technology, and Avnet ASIC Israel Ltd. (AAI), a leading provider of ASIC and System on Chip (SoC) design solutions and turn-key design services, today announced a strong partnership in the fields of ASIC design and manufacturing services.
Richard Platt's insight:

Last January, Samsung launched the Samsung Advanced Foundry Ecosystem (SAFETM) ensuring deep collaboration between Samsung Foundry, ecosystem partners, and customers to deliver competitive and robust SoC designs. As a Design Service Partner (DSP), AAI is participating in Samsung's SAFETM program and will closely collaborate with Samsung to provide dedicated and flexible technical solutions to meet variety needs from a wide range of customers.   With AAI’s managing design activities and supply chain logistics, customers will benefit from easy access to most advanced process technology, competitive pricing, a variety of silicon proven IPs, and committed resources for their ASIC and SoC design success.

“We are very excited to announce AAI as Samsung Foundry's Design Service Partner”, said Axel Fischer, vice president of EMEA Foundry Business at Samsung Semiconductor Europe. “As a Samsung's foundry ecosystem partner, AAI will benefit from access to our most advanced silicon technologies and extensive IP portfolio. Samsung's market leading silicon technology and manufacturing capacity combined with AAI's design expertise will help design teams of system, ASIC, fabless and start-up companies to accelerate the process of reliably bringing their innovations to market.”  “AAI has been supporting the ASIC market community for more than 30 years with hundreds of first time successful projects by proposing our innovative design capability and flexible business models," said Nadav Ben-Ezer, Managing Director of Avnet ASIC Israel. "Leveraging our design-foundry partnership, customers can focus on their innovative ideas and achieve their design goals, while we help them to deliver a fully packaged, tested and verified device to the market smaller, faster, safer and ahead of their competitors."

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Samsung closes profitability gap with Apple no thanks to its smartphones

Samsung closes profitability gap with Apple no thanks to its smartphones | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Samsung has been able to close its profitability gap with Apple but its smartphone division doesn't get the credit for that. It has been able to do this due to the stellar performance of its semiconductor division. - SamMobile
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Samsung and Apple have both posted their earnings results for this past quarter (Q1 '18) and the numbers show that Samsung has done a great job at closing the profitability gap with its biggest rival. However, while the iPhone drives much of Apple’s profits, it’s a different story over at Samsung. So even though Samsung has been able to narrow the profitability gap with Apple, it has done that without any substantial contributions from its smartphone division.  Semiconductors steal the show again

Apple posted sales of $61.1 billion this past quarter and an operating profit of $15.8 billion. This brings the company’s operating profit-to-sales ratio to 26 percent, slightly down from 26.7 percent a year earlier.   Samsung beat market expectations with its Q1 2018 earnings as it posted a 57.6 percent surge in profit for the January-March 2018 period. The company posted sales of over $56 billion and an operating profit of $14.4 billion. This brings Samsung’s operating profit-to-sales ratio to 25.8 percent.  It’s a big achievement on Samsung’s part as Apple was ahead by more than 10 percentage points in the profit-to-sale ratio for 2016. Market observers say that Samsung has been successful in increasing its profit margins and now appears to be gaining on Apple in this metric. Some even expect Samsung to post a higher operating profit-to-sales ratio than Apple in the second quarter of this year, though that could partly be because of Apple’s historically weaker earnings in the April-June period. That’s when iPhone sales slow down a bit in anticipation of the newer models.  We recently explained in detail why Samsung may never earn the kind of profits that Apple does from smartphones. Apple ships fewer handsets than Samsung but makes more money while Samsung enjoys leading the market in terms of volume shipments but it makes less money from smartphones. That’s because it caters to all three market segments and profit margins are wildly different in each.  So while it’s impressive that Samsung has closed this gap, it has been able to do this because its semiconductor division continues to mint money. The bulk of Samsung’s profits actually come from its semiconductor division which is riding a wave of high prices and subsequently higher profits in the memory market.  Things can go sour pretty quickly from Samsung if it comes under intense pressure in the memory market. The company is already facing a lawsuit along with other memory suppliers alleging that they colluded to artificially raise prices of memory products.

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Dialog Semiconductor Hobbled by Apple’s Change of Plans

Dialog Semiconductor Hobbled by Apple’s Change of Plans | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Dialog Semiconductor Hobbled by Apple’s Change of Plans
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Apple is again throwing its weight around in the semiconductor industry. Dialog Semiconductor, the company's primary source for power management chips, said in a statement that Apple would introduce a second source for the main PMIC components used in its smartphones. That means Apple will order fewer chips from the company in 2018 than Dialog originally expected.  Dialog projects orders of power management chips embedded in Apple’s tablets, wearables and personal computers to remain unchanged. In addition, the company expects to continue supplying another power management chip used inside Apple’s smartphones, the sub-PMIC, in the same volumes. Some analysts estimate that the company owes more than 50 percent of its revenue to Apple’s patronage.  Jalal Bagherli, Dialog’s chief executive officer, said on a conference call that Apple was probably trying to reduce the risk of relying upon a single manufacturer for chips managing battery power inside its smartphones. Bagherli also said it was likely that Apple would design power management chips in-house, a possibility rumored over the last year that has hammered Dialog’s share price.

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Tesla: Both Sides Of The Case

Now 15-years-old, Tesla enjoys a media presence that’s well out of proportion with the size of its sales. In the first quarter of this year, the company sold fewer than 30,000 cars; for reference…
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Now 15-years-old, Tesla enjoys a media presence that’s well out of proportion with the size of its sales. In the first quarter of this year, the company sold fewer than 30,000 cars; for reference, Toyota sells about 2.5M per quarter, 80Xmore. The extravagant attention can be explained, at least in part, by Elon Musk’s impressive PR skills. The attention may be inordinate, but it isn’t entirely empty. It would mean nothing if Tesla didn’t have a serious product, and Tesla’s Model S, a “green car for carnivores” as one wag rightly calls it, amply rewards those who pay $100K for the car’s sexy styling, swift acceleration, and pleasant road manners. As industry observers have noted, the Model S is outselling comparable high-end BMWs and Mercedes, first in the US and now in Europe.  Zealous customers had reserved nearly half a million Model 3’s by August 2017, an average of 1,800 added per day,  These are the numbers, the history, and where Tesla stands today. But what of Tesla’s future? Let’s hear from the prosecution, first.  Tesla may be the darling of the media and Musk may be a master showman, but facts are facts: The company has never made money. In order to survive, the company continues to rely on the generosity of shareholders and taxpayers. In 2015, cumulative state and federal subsidies were estimated at $4.9B — that’s $30K per vehicle.  Taxpayers have little choice, but shareholders? At this week’s close, TSLA was worth $49.6B vs $46.7 for Ford and $60.9B for GM. How long will shareholders support a company that doesn’t make money?  Furthermore, Tesla is the most shorted stock in the US market, meaning there are more people betting the company shares will plunge than with any other company. And now we have the prospect of a Tesla Killer: The company’s own Model 3. I’m not talking about Musk’s confession that he only wants to ship more expensive versions, up to $78K, because the $35K version would “kill” Tesla. The killer is production volume.  Musk offers various reasons for the Model 3’s slow production start, ranging from excessive reliance on automation to problems with battery production at the much touted Gigafactory. But these are just excuses. The real problem is Musk’s delusional belief that Tesla can jump from making 20K cars per quarter to a million or more a year as the Model 3 demands. A tenfold increase in production volume calls for a completely different production system, as codified by Toyota and described in The Machine That Changed The World. Attempting to invent a new system on the fly (two, actually, if we include the Gigafactory) will doom Tesla.

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Kia recalls 500,000 vehicles in the US due to airbag glitch

Kia recalls 500,000 vehicles in the US due to airbag glitch | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Kia has issued a recall for 507,000 vehicles in the US, and those who get a notice may want to make sure they comply with its request. The automaker sai
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Kia has issued a recall for 507,000 vehicles in the US, and those who get a notice may want to make sure they comply with its request. The automaker said those vehicles' airbag control units may be susceptible to an electronic glitch that prevents their airbags from deploying in a crash. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is in the midst of investigating why the airbags in the Kia and (its affiliate automaker) Hyundai vehicles involved in six serious serious crashes, which killed four people and injured six, didn't deploy during the collisions. Kia's recall includes Forte models 2010 to 2013, Optima models 2011 to 2013, Optima Hybrid models 2011 to 2012 and Sedona vehicles. It explained that the vehicles' susceptibility to electrical overstress can cause a short circuit that prevents both the frontal airbags and seatbelt pretensioners, which hold the driver and the front seat passenger in place in the event of a collision, from working. Unfortunately, Kia doesn't have a fix for the issue yet, but it said it's already working on one with its supplier. According to the NHTSA, the airbag control module in the affected cars were manufactured by German auto parts-maker ZF Friedrichshafen AG. Kia spokesperson James Bell said the company is hoping to get a fix ready "by the scheduled owner notification date of July 27[th]." He also said that the automaker will provide customers with a rental car in case its remedy for the issue still isn't ready by that date.

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CEO Brian Krzanich On Our Strategy and The Future of Intel

CEO Brian Krzanich On Our Strategy and The Future of Intel | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
By Brian Krzanich Last week I shared how Intel is making broad changes to accelerate our transformation by aligning every segment of our business – our people, our places and our projects – to our strategy. Our strategy itself is about transforming Intel from a PC company to a company that powers the cloud and … Continued
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There are five core beliefs that BK holds to be undeniably true for the future.

  • The cloud is the most important trend shaping the future of the smart, connected world – and thus Intel’s future.
  • The many “things” that make up the PC Client business and the Internet of Things are made much more valuable by their connection to the cloud.
  • Memory and programmable solutions such as FPGAs will deliver entirely new classes of products for the data center and the Internet of Things.
  • 5G will become the key technology for access to the cloud and as we move toward an always-connected world.
  • Moore’s Law will continue to progress and Intel will continue to lead in delivering its true economic impact.
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Google Changes Its Code of Conduct After Years of Being Evil Towards Patent Owners

Google Changes Its Code of Conduct After Years of Being Evil Towards Patent Owners | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Google’s decision to alter its code of conduct has elicited a wide response. However, in intellectual property circles, it would be easy question whether Google has lived up to the goal of not doing, or being, evil.
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Recent news reports have indicated, however, that the phrase “Don’t be evil” has largely disappeared from Google’s corporate code of conduct in recent weeks, most likely in late April. After Google restructured its corporate makeup in 2015 to become a subsidiary of the Alphabet Inc. holding company, certain mentions of “Don’t be evil” were changed instead to “Do the right thing.” Both of those messages were seen as encouragement by the tech titan to its employees regarding the morality which they should employ in the decisions they make as employees.

However, in intellectual property circles, it would be easy question whether Google has lived up to the goal of not doing, or being, evil.   To accuse Google of operating with malevolent intent in recent years in order to serve its own corporate interests. First of all, consider Google’s ample financial largesse to D.C. politicians around the time that the America Invents Act (AIA) was signed into law. This includes the $800,000 contributed to former President Barack Obama’s 2012 election campaign (making it the third-largest contributor to the Obama campaign), the nearly $900,000 contributed to federal candidates running in 2012 for the House and the Senate (which was split 49 percent to Democrats and 50 percent to Republicans) and the $18 million total lobbying expenditures during 2012, the eighth-largest federal lobbying total among all entities. If spending money to influence political debate towards unjust ends is evil, Google’s been guilty of that for years.

One could also point out the influence that Google had at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in the form of former USPTO Director Michelle K. Lee. Lee was appointed as USPTO Director after serving as Google’s general counsel and head of patents and patent strategy from 2003 to 2012. The implementation of the AIA, which was supported by Google, under Director Lee, a former Google executive, has been deleterious to the U.S. patent system which has dropped significantly in international rankings of patent systems in large part because of increased uncertainty regarding the validity of any patent challenged through the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) created by the AIA. If buying political influence and then exerting that influence in the interests of decimating an entire system of property rights in order to prevent competition is evil, it appears that Google is at grave risk of being considered so.  Further, if using corporate funds to influence academic debate on various policy subjects related to corporate interests is evil, Google’s intentions are looking darker day by day. Investigative research published last year by The Wall Street Journal has shown that Google has financed hundreds of academic research papers which advocate against regulatory challenges to Google’s market dominance. That research ties money coming from Google to professors at the University of Florida and the University of Utah who have published papers funded by Google that argue for patent policies which are favorable to Google; that research has been published at least as early as 2013. The policies that research has supported have helped large companies to the complete detriment of startups and independent inventors. Seems pretty evil.  If Google were only achieving corporate success because of political and academic payoffs, that would be bad enough. However, the company further works to influence political debate by supporting the work of nonprofit organizations which are very active in D.C. This includes the High Tech Inventors Alliance (HTIA), an organization which is a servile puppy dog to the efficient infringer cabal and whose general counsel is a highly unscrupulous individual. Although Google’s involvement with the HTIA is visible, the company works much more surreptitiously to support its agenda in Washington. This includes Google’s funding Engine, a nonprofit which poses itself as a supporter of small tech businesses while testifying on anti-patent positions in Congressional hearings in front of politicians which have also been funded by Google. A recent watchdog report has even laid bare how Engine was conceived and founded by high-ranking Google employees and how Engine, along with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, are shills for Google’s policy positions while masquerading as organizations interested in promoting innovation and small business interests. Google money is baked into the committees forming policy on patent law, the witness panels asking Congress for those reforms and the organizations telling us that those reforms are helpful to the little guy when they’re actually highly toxic to patent owners trying to protect their intellectual property. It’s Google’s world, we’re just living in it.

Without question, Google’s efforts to devalue patent rights is foundational to the company given its long-running penchant for copying the technologies of others for its own business success. Google’s entire targeted advertising operation, which provides upwards of 90 percent of the companies revenues, relies on technologies invented by B.E. Technology in the early 2000s. After B.E. Tech filed a patent infringement suit against Google in 2012, Google filed for inter partes review (IPR) proceedings at the PTAB to challenge those patents. Thanks to a panel stacked by Director Lee with administrative patent judges (APJs) having some of the highest rates of claim invalidation at the PTAB, Google gets to continue making billions of dollars each and every financial quarter by practicing a technology invented by someone else without paying a license, royalty or anything (except for the costs of the IPR filings, of course). Randy Landreneau, President of inventor activist group US Inventor, offered the following remark regarding Google’s involvement in the U.S. patent system in recent years: “There have been other attempts to weaken the American Patent System, but never in history has one company had such an ability to influence public opinion, elected politicians and the USPTO. The results have been disastrous for the independent inventor and American innovation.”

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Apple Outguns Samsung and LG in Filing micro-LED Patents in South Korea

Apple Outguns Samsung and LG in Filing micro-LED Patents in South Korea | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Earlier today Patently Apple posted a report titled "The Discovery of Apple's Secret Micro-LED Display Testing Plant in California Rattles Display Maker Stocks in Asia." Now we're learning that Apple and its subsidiary LuxVue Technology have applied for more Micro-LED patents in South Korea than Samsung and LG.

Via Sara Mautino
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Patently Apple posted a report titled "The Discovery of Apple's Secret Micro-LED Display Testing Plant in California Rattles Display Maker Stocks in Asia." Now we're learning that Apple and its subsidiary LuxVue Technology have applied for more Micro-LED patents in South Korea than Samsung and LG.

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Early Snapdragon 835 benchmarks show mixed results from semi-custom design

Early Snapdragon 835 benchmarks show mixed results from semi-custom design | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Qualcomm ditches Kryo in favor of something based on Cortex-A73.
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In GPU tests, Qualcomm's Adreno family continues to differentiate itself, and outperform, ARM's Mali family. It often pulls ahead of the iPhone 7 Plus, too. Compared to 820, Qualcomm is claiming a 25 percent increase in GPU performance, with about 14 percent coming from a boosted clock speed.  For most smartphone workloads, Qualcomm has probably made a pretty sound trade-off; better integer performance is simply more useful for tasks such as Web browsing than better floating point performance. Anandtech shows the 835 platform reference performs slightly ahead of the Kirin 960-powered Huawei Mate 9, and in standard browser-based tests, both eclipse the Snapdragon 820. Even the regressions around image processing workloads may not be tremendously meaningful; the 835 contains dedicated image processing hardware, and it's this, rather than the main CPU, that should be called into action for photography and video recording applications. Such co-processors are ignored by standard CPU and GPU benchmarks, so although the benchmark scores are not wrong per se they don't necessarily represent the full user experienceThe other big promise made of the 835 was greatly reduced power consumption, thanks to the use of Samsung's 10nm manufacturing process. Meaningful testing of power usage is going to have to wait for real hardware rather than reference systems, but Qualcomm did demonstrate lower power usage when compared to the Snapdragon 820 when running a virtual reality workload.

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Intel makes its first 10nm Cannon Lake chips official

Intel makes its first 10nm Cannon Lake chips official | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Intel said it was making 10nm processors; now we know what processor and which customer.
Richard Platt's insight:

Intel's transition to building processors on a 10nm manufacturing process has been delayed repeatedly. Once upon a time, the company said that it'd go into mass production at the end of 2015; with its most recent financial results, the company pushed that back, again, to 2019. But Intel has also said that, although the yields aren't good enough for large-scale production, it has been shipping 10nm processors, codenamed Cannon Lake, to an unspecified customer.  That customer is Lenovo: the IdeaPad 330 has been listed by Chinese retailers, and it includes a mysterious processor, the Core i3-8121U. The name tells us the market positioning (it's an i3, so it's low-end), the power envelope (the "U" at the end means that it's a 15W chip), and the branding (the number starts with an 8, so it's going to be another "8th-generation" chip, just like the Kaby Lake-R, Kaby Lake-G, and Coffee Lake processors). This means that "8th generation" is a rather vague label that describes several different processor variants, built on several different manufacturing processes (two 14nm variants and now 10nm).  We didn't know much more about the chip until Intel published it on its Ark site. The Ark listing confirms that it is indeed a 15W Cannon Lake chip built on a 10nm process. It has two cores, four threads, a base clock speed of 2.2GHz with turbo boost of 3.2GHz, and 4MB of level 3 cache.  What else do we learn? The Cannon Lake part supports two new kinds of memory: LPDDR4 and LPDDR4X, both low-power variants of DDR4. This should enable reduced power consumption even with high memory system configurations, compared to the previous generation which only supported LPDDR3 in addition to standard DDR4. The maximum theoretical memory bandwidth figure has also been upgraded to 41.6GB/s, up from 34.1GB/s. The Ark listing also says that the Cannon Lake processor supports more PCIe lanes, up to 16 from 12 (though the actual supported lane configurations appear to match Kaby Lake chips, so it's not immediately clear if this is correct). More peculiarly, however, the listing doesn't include any specs for a GPU. Virtually every mobile and desktop processor Intel makes includes an integrated GPU, and one would expect Cannon Lake chips to follow suit. According to this listing, however, the i3-8121U doesn't. The Lenovo laptop in question is specified as including a discrete AMD R5 GPU, offering no guidance as to whether the chip does indeed have a GPU.  As such, while Cannon Lake and Intel's 10nm manufacturing remain a little mysterious (the broader question of "why this particular chip for this particular customer?" feels particularly germane), we do now know a little more than we did before.

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ARM promises laptop-level performance in 2019

ARM promises laptop-level performance in 2019 | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Chip design company claims performance comparable to Intel's Kaby Lake.
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Chip design company ARM has unveiled its latest high performance processor design, the Cortex-A76. The company claims that the new design is 35 percent faster than the current Cortex-A75, making for performance that's comparable with Intel's Skylake i5 processors.  ARM licenses both chip designs and the instruction set that the chips use. Apple's smartphones and tablets use the ARM instruction set with custom, in-house designs from Cupertino. Most other smartphones and tablets, however, use processors that are either unmodified ARM designs (for example, Mediatek does this), or lightly customized ARM designs (such as Qualcomm's latest processors). Chips using the new design should hit the market in 2019.  The extra performance of the new design should help close the gap both with Apple's custom designs—in most situations, they're the fastest ARM chips on the market—and Intel's x86 processors. Speaking to CNET, ARM's lead processor architect Mike Filippo said that the new design would "do well" against Apple and roughly match the Intel Core i5-7300. That processor is a two-core, four-thread chip running at between 2.6 and 3.5 GHz using Intel's Kaby Lake architecture. With more cache, Filippo says that even i7 parts should be within reach.  To put that into some context, the i5-7300 was released in the first quarter of 2017. Intel's chips in 2019 should be somewhat faster (though just how much faster isn't clear, given the company's continued difficulties in making its 10nm manufacturing process work well), but an i5 from 2017 is unambiguously at the level of "good enough" performance for a wide range of laptop users. Moreover, this performance should be achieved at lower power cost than Intel's 15W chips; ARM's performance estimates are assuming a 7nm manufacturing process.  This combination of performance and power consumption should make the new chips compelling for Microsoft's Always Connected Windows machines. The current ARM Windows machines are using the Cortex-A73 design in Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835. They've offered compelling battery life, but the performance has been significantly weaker than that of Intel systems. Cortex-A76 is about twice as fast as the A73, redressing that performance deficit without hurting the excellent battery life.

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The World as Samsung Sees it in 2020 - Future Technology that will Blow Your Mind 

The World as Samsung Sees it in 2020 - Future Technology that will Blow Your Mind  | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Samsung Future Technology that will Blow Your Mind - The World in 2020

Via TechinBiz
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You will experience the future technology coming in 2020. These technologies are imagined by Samsung and will blow you away. 2020 is in less than 2 years, but a lot of new amazing and cool gadgets will hit the market. In 2020, displays, smartphones, robots and many other gadgets will evolve for the best.

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Rav's comment, May 29, 2:58 AM
yes great revolution
Rav's comment, May 29, 2:58 AM
yes great revolution
Rav's comment, May 29, 2:58 AM
yes great revolution
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Samsung Extended Lead Over Intel In Q1

Samsung Extended Lead Over Intel In Q1 | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
In Q1, Samsung extended its lead over Intel at the top of the semiconductor manufacturers’ league table, reports IC Insights. Samsung had Q1 revenues of $1
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Samsung had Q1 revenues of $19.4 billion compared to Intel’s $15.8 billion. Y-o-y, Samsung grew 43% while Intel grew 11%.

Samsung went from having 5% less sales than Intel in 1Q17 to having 23% more semiconductor sales than Intel in 1Q18.

Intel was No.1 in 1Q17, but lost its lead spot to Samsung in 2Q17 as well as in the full-year 2017 ranking, a position it had held since 1993.In Q1 2018, memories represented 83% of Samsung’s semiconductor revenues, up six points from 77% in 1Q17 and up 12 points from 71% just two years earlier in 1Q16. Samsung’s non-memory sales in 1Q18 were only $3,300 million, up 6% from 1Q17’s non-memory sales level of $3,125 million.

The biggest 15 semiconductor companies’ sales surged by 26% in 1Q18 compared to 1Q17, six points higher than the total worldwide semiconductor industry 1Q18/1Q17 increase of 20%.

The Big 3 memory suppliers—Samsung, SK Hynix, and Micron, each registered greater than 40% year-over-year growth in 1Q18.

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Tied Together by TRIZ - Samsung and SK Hynix to Invest W45 tril. in semiconductors 

Tied Together by TRIZ - Samsung and SK Hynix to Invest W45 tril. in semiconductors  | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Samsung Electronics and SK hynixplan to invest up to 45 trillion won to enhance their semiconductor manufacturing facilities mostly in Korea, officials directly involved with the matter said Monday.
Richard Platt's insight:

Samsung Electronics and SK hynix plan to invest up to 45 trillion won to enhance their semiconductor manufacturing facilities mostly in Korea, officials directly involved with the matter said Monday.  While consumers may know the brands for handsets and TVs, Samsung is the long-time leader in the semiconductor industry. SK hynix is the runner-up.  According to major investment banks, semiconductors generated almost half the operating revenue of Samsung Electronics last year. The latest investment means revenue could swell further.  "The combined investment by Samsung Electronics and SK hynix in facilities throughout this year will be 45 trillion won because Samsung is increasing its investment in chip fabrication facilities to 30 trillion won from an earlier 27.3 trillion won," said an official wishing to remain anonymous. That will see SK hynix increase its capital expenditure to 15 trillion won.  An SK hynix official said its adjusted 2018 investment is subject to change, according to market conditions. The company, affiliated with SK Group, earlier said it would invest 13 trillion won. The SK unit is actively using high chip prices to lift its position in the industry with the aggressive spending.   It is part of a consortium led by U.S.-based fund Bain Capital that agreed to purchase Toshiba's memory chip business, which was recently approved by China.  The revised investments by Samsung and SK coincide with the start of mass production at updated local fabrication facilities. Advances in the automotive industry, internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence and biosimilar drugs are expected to drive demand for semiconductors in the coming years.   But beyond such looming industry trends, Samsung and SK hynix are taking advantage of the industry paradigm, as a consolidation encourages major suppliers to prioritize profits over market share.   Bit growth, a key barometer to gauge the health of the industry, becomes much more limited as shrinking the size of chips becomes increasingly more difficult.  Leading investment bank analysts covering semiconductors said memory prices continue to perform better than expected because demand from datacenters continues to surprise, particularly for DRAMs, a memory chip that both Samsung and SK have larger market shares in than NAND-type.   DRAM supply tightness is expected to persist in the near term but this constraint will be removed in the second half. "Given factors seen in the market, even if Samsung and SK hynix become more aggressive with their capacity (investment) plans that wouldn't hurt the industry much," said one senior fund manager.  Market leader Samsung doesn't expect to outgrow demand due to increasingly difficult tech migration. It earlier said that mobile demand weakness was no worse than "normal seasonality." 

"Although the risk of DRAM oversupply next year is becoming more of a concern with Samsung Electronics' increasingly aggressive capacity expansion, the situation for 2018 is better than earlier predicted and the market has so far failed to take this into account. Both DRAM and NAND prices are stronger than expected, which bodes well for earnings this year," the manager said.

Mainstream NAND contract and spot prices continue to decline, but not as severely as expected. The industry is making efforts to encourage NAND flash content growth in smartphones by offering high-NAND flash content products at lower prices. 

As the industry also continues its transition to three-dimensional NAND and improves yield, supply is likely to exceed demand and some expect NAND prices to continue to be under pressure.

Samsung and SK control more than two thirds of the DRAM market. DRAM chips, along with NAND flash memory, are commonly used in smartphones, PCs and portable game consoles.

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Lawsuit claims Samsung colluded with DRAM suppliers to raise prices

Lawsuit claims Samsung colluded with DRAM suppliers to raise prices | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
A lawsuit seeking class-action status has been filed in the United States. It claims that Samsung and other DRAM manufacturers colluded to raise prices of DRAM products throughout 2016 and 2017. - SamMobile
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Samsung has earned a significant chunk of its profits from its semiconductor division over the past couple of years. The company’s leading position in the DRAM market has allowed it to reap the benefits of high demand and rising prices. Samsung said in its recent earnings release that it expects this momentum to continue in the current quarter as well.   

However, Hagens Berman, a Washington-based law firm, believes that it may not have been pure luck for Samsung and the other top DRAM manufacturers. It has filed a lawsuit seeking class-action status in the US District Court for the Northern District of California against Samsung, Hynix and Micron on behalf of US consumers of smartphones and computing products during 2016 and 2017. The lawsuit claims that these three major DRAM manufacturers colluded on limiting the supply of several DRAM products to drive an increase in prices  Investigation reveals possible signs of collusion  Hagens Berman antitrust attorneys conducted an independent investigation and claim to have discovered that Samsung, Hynix and Micron colluded to limit the supply of DRAM products in order to drive up prices. DRAM is an essential component in modern devices and can be found in smartphones, tablets, computers, cameras and other gadgets.

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