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Broadcom's dual-band Wi-Fi audio chip targets Internet of Things

Broadcom's dual-band Wi-Fi audio chip targets Internet of Things | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Broadcom Corporation has introduced what the company claims is the industry's first dual-band Wi-Fi audio chip into its Wireless Internet Connectivity for Embedded Devices (WICED) portfolio.
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Cost reduction of SoC's will dominate in the IoT.  Broadcom's BCM43907 SoC reduces cost for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) by integrating all needed functionality onto a single device. As the first audio SoC to implement dual-band Wi-Fi, Broadcom's BCM43907 reduces interference and delivers a cleaner overall sound to wireless streaming devices such as portable speakers, 5.1 multi-speaker systems, sound bars and media players. Devices with dual-band Wi-Fi experience fewer interruptions and benefit from a significant network performance boost by operating on two bands

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Rise of the Asian Black Swans - Semiconductor Strategic Inflection Point - Samsung vs. Intel (Chap 4 of 5)

This is part 4 of a 5 part series of presentations on the Strategic Inflection Point of 2017 in the Semiconductor, High Tech and Electronics industries, when S…
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This is part 4 of a 5 part series of presentations on the Strategic Inflection Point of 2017 in the Semiconductor, High Tech and Electronics industries, when Samsung took the top spot in the Semiconductor domain from Intel, it was a surprise to all, even though the indicators started to show in late 2016 that Samsung might take the top slot. It is also an illustrative example of what a Minimum Winning Game is. There are 2 geographical located super user groups that use and apply TRIZ/Systematic Innovation methods, in the industrial, corporate domain, they are located in South Korea and Japan. Case study examples of those applications are illustrated here. I close the presentation with the description of what a Black Swan is and that these two groups, do strongly follow the rules of what it means to be a Black Swan, an Outlier, and will have a significant effect upon those and other industries as a result.

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Nvidia researchers develop AI system that generates synthetic scans of brain cancer

Nvidia researchers develop AI system that generates synthetic scans of brain cancer | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Researchers from Nvidia, the Mayo Clinic, and the MGH and BWH Center for Clinical Data Science developed AI that generates MRIs of brains with tumors.
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Artificially intelligent (AI) systems are as diverse as they come from an architectural standpoint, but there’s one component they all share in common: datasets. The trouble is, large sample sizes are often a corollary of accuracy (a state-of-the-art diagnostic system by Google’s DeepMind subsidiary required 15,000 scans from 7,500 patients), and some datasets are harder to find than others.  Researchers from Nvidia, the Mayo Clinic, and the MGH and BWH Center for Clinical Data Science believe they’ve come up with a solution to the problem: a neural network that itself generates training data — specifically, synthetic three-dimensional magnetic resonance images (MRIs) of brains with cancerous tumors.  “We show that for the first time we can generate brain images that can be used to train neural networks,” Hu Chang, a senior research scientist at Nvidia and a lead author on the paper, told VentureBeat in a phone interview.  The AI system, which was developed using Facebook’s PyTorch deep learning framework and trained on a Nvidia DGX platform, leverages a general adversarial network (GAN) — a two-part neural network consisting of a generator that produces samples and a discriminator, which attempts to distinguish between the generated samples and real-world samples — to create convincing MRIs of abnormal brains.  The team sourced two publicly available datasets — the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) and the Multimodal Brain Tumor Image Segmentation Benchmark (BRATS) — to train the GAN, and set aside 20 percent of BRATS’ 264 studies for performance testing. Memory and compute restraints forced the team to downsample the scan from a resolution of 256 x 256 x 108 to 128 x 128 x 54, but they used the original images for comparison.  The generator, fed images from ADNI, learned to produce synthetic brain scans (complete with white matter, grey matter, and cerebral spinal fluid) given an image from the ADNI. Next, when set loose on the BRATS dataset, it generated full segmentations with tumors.  The GAN annotated the scans, a task that can take a team of human experts hours. And because it treated the brain and tumor anatomy as two distinct labels, it allowed researchers to alter the tumor’s size and location or to “transplant” it to scans of a healthy brain.

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Mercedes Unveils First Tesla Rival in $12 Billion Attack

Mercedes Unveils First Tesla Rival in $12 Billion Attack | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Mercedes-Benz, the world’s largest maker of luxury cars, is rolling out its first in a series of battery-powered models, adding to a growing array of high-end brands targeting Tesla Inc.
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Mercedes-Benz, the world’s largest maker of luxury cars, is rolling out its first in a series of battery-powered models, adding to a growing array of high-end brands targeting Tesla Inc. The Mercedes EQC crossover starts production in the first half of next year, part of a plan to develop its EQ electric line, Daimler AG Chief Executive Officer Dieter Zetsche told reporters in Stockholm at the model’s world premiere. The company intended to invest 10 billion euros ($12 billion) in its electric-vehicle push but has ended up spending “more than that,” he said Tuesday, without specifying figures.  “There is no alternative to betting on electric cars, and we’re going all in,” Zetsche said. “It is starting right now.”  The car joins the Porsche Taycan, Audi E-tron and Jaguar I-Pace in putting pressure on Tesla as the California-based carmaker struggles to hit Model 3 production targets and earn profits. Mercedes plans to assemble the EQC at its factory in Bremen, where the automaker also makes its best-selling C-Class sedan. Daimler will build the car in China for the local market.  The EQC is set be profitable and will “offer the best package” compared to rivals, he said, declining to comment on pricing.

 
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Apple says one of its self-driving cars was rear-ended

Apple says one of its self-driving cars was rear-ended | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
During discovery in ongoing litigation, inventor Gil Hyatt found that the patent office had a special way of flagging and thus killing potentially controversial patents called the Sensitive Applications Warning System (or SAWS), and it operated in secret for decades.
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(Reuters) — An Apple self-driving car was rear-ended while merging onto an expressway near the company’s Silicon Valley headquarters this month, the company said in an accident report posted on Friday that confirmed the iPhone maker is still in the race to build autonomous vehicles.  Apple executives have never publicly spoken about the company’s self-driving car program, but filings in a criminal court case last month confirmed that the company had at least 5,000 employees working on the project and that it was working on circuit boards and a “proprietary chip” related to self-driving cars.  Apple is entering a crowded field where rivals such as Alphabet’s Waymo unit and traditional carmakers such as General Motors’ Cruise Automation, as well as startups such as Silicon Valley’s Zoox, are pouring billions of dollars into cars that can drive themselves.  On Aug. 24, one of Apple’s Lexus RX 450h self-driving test vehicles in “autonomous mode” was merging south on the Lawrence Expressway in Sunnyvale, California at less than 1 mile per hour when it was rear-ended by a 2016 Nissan Leaf going about 15 miles per hour, according to the report posted on the California Department of Motor Vehicles website.  The accident happened at about 3 p.m. as the Apple vehicle had slowed and was waiting for a safe gap in traffic to complete the merge, the report said.  Both vehicles sustained damage but there were no injuries, the report said. Under a safety plan filed with California regulators, a human driver must be able to take control of Apple’s self-driving test cars.

An Apple spokesman confirmed that the company had filed the report but did not comment further. He declined to respond to questions about whether the trailing car could have been at fault.

Apple’s efforts remained shrouded in secrecy until years after its rivals like Google had begun testing on public roads. The iPhone maker’s first public acknowledgement of interest in the field came in a letter to U.S. transportation regulators in late 2016 urging them not to restrict testing of the vehicles.  Last year, Apple secured a permit to test autonomous vehicles in California. It has been testing cars on the road since last year and now has permits for more than 60 vehicles. Apple researchers also last year published their first public research on cars, a software system that could help spot pedestrians more readily.

The safety of self-driving cars has become a source of concern for U.S. transportation regulators this year after one of Uber’s vehicles struck and killed a woman in March in Arizona, prompting the company to shut down its testing efforts for a time. Uber has said it plans to have self-driving cars back on the road by the end of the year.

The California DMV said it has received it has received 95 autonomous vehicle collision reports as of Aug. 31. Dozens of companies have received permits to test self-driving vehicles on California roads, but those permits require the presence of a human safety driver.

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Intel 14nm chip supply shortfall to affect PC shipments for 2H18

Intel 14nm chip supply shortfall to affect PC shipments for 2H18 | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
The supply of Intel's new-generation 14nm processors has already fallen short of demand, posing a major variable to the PC market in the second half of 2018, as shipments may be significantly affected, according to industry sources.
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The supply of Intel's new-generation 14nm processors has already fallen short of demand, posing a major variable to the PC market in the second half of 2018, as shipments may be significantly affected, according to industry sources.  After deciding to defer the launch of 10nm CPUs to the second half of 2019, Intel has just released two new 14nm processors: 8th-generation Core U low power mobile processors codenamed Whiskey Lake and Core Y Amber Lake processors for slim notebooks and tablets.  The new super slim notebook models released by Taiwan's Acer at IFA 2018 running August 31-September 9 in Berlin and new MacBook series set to be unveiled in September will all adopt the new processors, the sources said.

Acer chairman and CEO Jason Chen noted that though the global PC market is expected to pick up in the second half of 2018, the tight supply of Intel's 14 nm processors will pose a significant challenge to the supply chain management capability of brand vendors.  CP Wong, president of leading notebook ODM Compal Electronics, said that the largest variable to PC market sales in second-half 2018 rests with Intel's CPU actual supply performance rather than the US-China trade war, with the performance already affected by poor yield rates.  Industry sources said that in their product development roadmaps, PC vendors have well scheduled procurement's of components and launches of new products, and therefore Intel's processor supply shortfall will surely impact shipments of almost all PC vendors in the second half of the year.  On another front, the sources continued, foreign exchange risks involved in the US-China trade negotiation process are likely to impact revenue and profit performances of PC vendors, and they have to enforce meticulous risk-averting operations to avoid possible undesirable losses.

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Semiconductor Strategic Inflection Point - Intel’s Arduous Journey to 10 nm, Moore's Law Comes Up Short?

Semiconductor Strategic Inflection Point - Intel’s Arduous Journey to 10 nm, Moore's Law Comes Up Short? | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
With a share price riding high and dominance in the datacentre market, it may seem perverse to state that Intel is a company facing a range of significant problems. So what caused the technology behemoth on the occasion of its 50th birthday to find itself so spectacularly on its back foot?
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This is the 1st article written from anyone, including from the Big Consulting firms (Bain, McKinsey, Accenture, Deloitte, etc.....), and the technology experts / pundits (SemiWiki, IEEE, etc...) that attempts to explain or discusses the Strategic Inflection Point that occurred in 2017, when Samsung outpaced Intel and became the #1 Semiconductor OEM.....the article is rather critical of Intel and it's inability to keep pace with the Tick-Tock model of 18-24  months and the issues it presents to Intel.....

 

Andy Grove’s famous maxim, “Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only the paranoid survive.” has proven accurate once again. Intel again finds itself at a classic Grove strategic inflection point. The problem is, it doesn’t look like they quite know how to manage it.  Tick-Tock: What is most surprising for a long-term observer is that Intel has let slip what was seen as a perpetual two-year (full node) lead in process technology over its foundry competitors. The loss of process leadership – let’s call it the 10 nm fumble – is doubly strange, as the recently departed CEO started out at Intel as a process engineer. Surely a core tenet would have been to ensure that the golden goose kept on laying? 

 

Did Intel become complacent or did they just fumble the ball? It’s been clear for years that process transitions were getting increasingly challenging. Even five years ago, the cadence of process transition that drives Moore’s Law was visibly and rapidly slowing. After Dennard scaling fell by the wayside in the mid-00’s, engineers have had to pull an increasing number of rabbits from their hat to keep Moore’s Law on track.  When you are fighting physics, a huge number of disciplines and developments have to align to make it work at all. More revolutionary, rather than just evolutionary, changes are increasingly required to make the next process nodes viable. In the last decade alone, major new innovations include the use of immersion lithography, FinFETs and multi-patterning. In the next few years we will see the widespread adoption of Extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV), more exotic materials and nanowires with gate-all-around structures for transistors. Worryingly, all these changes will make the job of characterizing and quality assuring the products an increasingly difficult and expensive exercise.  Fast forward to 2014, when the period between the general availability of consumer parts (smaller and thus more likely to yield on new process nodes) and Xeons (larger, more complex, closer to the edge of the yield curve) on the same lithographic node was opening fast. The 22 nm to 14 nm transition had been far from smooth and most observers felt that the 10 nm transition would be at least as challenging.  In the HPC market, the general availability of Broadwell Xeons, promised in 2013 and Skylake Xeons, promised in 2015, was delayed. The public abandonment of the ‘Tick-Tock’ strategy in 2016, which was first adopted in 2007, had been showing signs of stress for several years, portending significant changes afoot.  Post Prescott (Netburst architecture on 90 nm), and indeed prior to that, Intel had been almost metronomic in its execution of process transitions. In fact, much of the recent success of the company, from the relative doldrums of the mid to late 00’s, had been predicated on this continued process and manufacturing superiority. Being, in effect, a full process node ahead of your competitors with industry leading yields gave Intel the whip hand when it came to processor design, cost optimisation and gross profit margins. Of course this was helped significantly by AMD’s own fumbling execution with Barcelona and Bulldozer Opterons.  With Tick-Tock, Intel would introduce a new lithographic process node in one product cycle (the ‘tick’) and then an upgraded micro-architecture in the next product cycle (the ‘tock’). Its replacement is a less aggressive three-element cycle, to be known as “Process-Architecture-Optimization”, and a tacit admission that the Moore’s Law cycle was lengthening.  With the benefit of two years hindsight, there have been two optimization steps and significant improvements at 14 nm, the so called 14 nm+ and 14 nm++ nodes, and a third on the roadmap trying to bridge the gap to the AWOL 10 nm process. Due to high performance computing riding the coat tails of consumer development, Intel’s HPC roadmap is being pushed out further to the right. It also means that far from having consumer developments drive process and manufacturing innovation, HPC will now find itself pushed even further towards the hemorrhaging edge of technology.

Off the flame-grill and into the fire

If the 00’s were characterized by relentless process transitions, the early 10’s clearly signaled the beginning of the end for traditional CMOS scaling, with Moore’s Law moving from the waiting room to admission into a high dependency unit.

Make no mistake; a missing or late process node can leave chunks of your business model in tatters. Every Intel product whose starting assumption was that it would be fabricated at 10 nm was immediately at risk. Perhaps this is where the complacency set in, as when you already have a high yielding products at 14 nm that have no direct market competition, such as Skylake, then it simply does not make much economic sense to release a 10 nm product before it’s yields cross over and deliver better levels of transistors per dollar.

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Intel's Whiskey Lake Brings In-Silicon Meltdown and Foreshadow Fixes

Intel's Whiskey Lake Brings In-Silicon Meltdown and Foreshadow Fixes | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
The Whiskey Lake processors are the first for the consumer market to feature in-silicon mitigations for the Meltdown and Foreshadow vulnerabilities.
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Intel's disclosures during its Whiskey Lake launch yesterday left out one very important fact: The Whiskey Lake processors are the first chips for consumers to feature in-silicon fixes for the Meltdown and Foreshadow vulnerabilities. Word surfaced earlier today from industry analyst Ashraf Eassa that Intel's new chips might support the new mitigations, and we followed up with Intel for confirmation.  Intel representatives confirmed that Whiskey Lake chips bring the first in-silicon mitigations to the consumer market, but the Amber Lake processors do not have the mitigations. The current Spectre and Meltdown mitigations, which Intel delivers via software and microcode patches, can reduce performance by up to 10% (based on workload) on newer hardware, with older hardware suffering even larger losses. The new mitigations, which are baked directly into the silicon, should reduce or even eliminate the performance impact.

Vulnerability Whiskey Lake Mitigation Cascade Lake Mitigation Variant 1 (Spectre) Operating System Operating System/VMM Variant 2 (Spectre) Microcode + Operating System In-Silicon + Operating System/VMM
Variant 3 (Meltdown)
In-Silicon
In-Silicon Variant 3a Microcode + Operating System Firmware Variant 4 Microcode + Operating System Microcode + Operating System/VMM L1TF (Foreshadow)
In-Silicon
?

The first wave of hardware-based fixes are limited, but Intel tells us that the in-silicon fixes will expand over time. Whiskey Lake processors will still need a combination of microcode and operating system patches for most variants, but now the Meltdown and L1TF Foreshadow are patched fully in hardware.

The Cascade Lake data center processors marked the introduction of in-silicon patches, but those chips have a different set of protections than the consumer processors. For instance, Cascade Lake has in-silicon protection against Spectre V2, whereas the Whiskey Lake processors do not. Intel representatives indicate that over time those Spectre V2 protections will also come to consumer chips. The limited scope of the in-silicon patches reminds us that Intel, like the many other companies impacted by these vulnerabilities, is still in the early stages of addressing the issues.

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Google Titan Security (Anti-Phishing) Key Now for Sale for $50

Google Titan Security (Anti-Phishing) Key Now for Sale for $50 | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
In July, Google claimed its 85,000 employees had gone a full year without encountering any security mishaps following a mandatory requirement of using physical security keys for two-factor authentication. Now, its in-house security key is available for sale in the Google store.
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In July, Google claimed its 85,000 employees had gone a full year without encountering any security mishaps following a mandatory requirement of using physical security keys for two-factor authentication. Now, its in-house security key is available for sale in the Google store.  Two-factor authentication (2FA) is the bare minimum anyone should be doing to protect their accounts from social-engineering hacks like phishing emails. The most common form of 2FA is sending a user a text message with a unique code after they’ve entered their basic password. Unfortunately, even that method is vulnerable because text messages can be intercepted. A physical key is much more secure because a hacker would need to have the device in hand IRL in order to break into your account. Google said earlier this year that only 10 percent of Gmail users have implemented 2FA, and it wants to encourage people to take things a step further and buy its Titan security key.  The physical device appeared in the Google store on Thursday and it’s really two devices. For $50, you get one USB key that can be inserted into your computer to prove that you’re really you, and a backup device that communicates with NFC or Bluetooth. The idea is that Google’s Advanced Protection Program requires two registered devices in case you lose one, and the NFC/Bluetooth device is more convenient for unlocking a mobile device.  While it’s easy to see this as Google trying to get a piece of the lucrative physical key industry that supplies enterprise customers with bulk purchases in order to protect target-rich businesses, it would save the company a lot of headaches if its users were more secure. When Titan was first announced, it appeared there might be some bad blood between Google and Yubico, one of the leading physical key manufacturers. The two companies had previously worked together on the development of the FIDO industry standard. Yubico’s CEO claimed that they disagreed with Google’s decision to go forward with Bluetooth implementation, and Yubico still feels that NFC is still the only trustworthy wireless method of verification. The CEO also appeared to call into question the security of Google’s manufacturing line.   At the time, a Google spokesperson declined to comment when Gizmodo asked if they wanted to address those concerns. But in a blog post on Thursday, Christiaan Brand, product manager for Google Cloud, said a little more about the manufacturing process:  "The firmware performing the cryptographic operations has been engineered by Google with security in mind. This firmware is sealed permanently into a secure element hardware chip at production time in the chip production factory. The secure element hardware chip that we use is designed to resist physical attacks aimed at extracting firmware and secret key material.  These permanently-sealed secure element hardware chips are then delivered to the manufacturing line which makes the physical security key device. Thus, the trust in Titan Security Key is anchored in the sealed chip as opposed to any other later step which takes place during device manufacturing."

Android Police points out the fact that Google’s keys look remarkably similar to devices by the trusted physical key manufacturer Feitian. We asked Google directly if Feitian is handling the assembly and a spokesperson told us, “Google is the manufacturer of record and we contract a third-party to produce the keys. The firmware is the most important piece here.” That may be true, and there’s no reason to believe Feitian producing the keys is anything to worry about.

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GlobalFoundries Stops All 7nm Development: Opts To Focus on Specialized Processes

GlobalFoundries Stops All 7nm Development: Opts To Focus on Specialized Processes | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
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GlobalFoundries on Monday announced an important strategy shift. The contract maker of semiconductors decided to cease development of bleeding edge manufacturing technologies and stop all work on its 7LP (7 nm) fabrication processes, which will not be used for any client. Instead, the company will focus on specialized process technologies for clients in emerging high-growth markets. These technologies will initially be based on the company’s 14LPP/12LP platform and will include RF, embedded memory, and low power features. Because of the strategy shift, GF will cut 5% of its staff as well as renegotiate its WSA and IP-related deals with AMD and IBM. In a bid to understand more what is going on, we sat down with Gary Patton, CTO of GlobalFoundries.   GlobalFoundries was on track to tape out its clients’ first chips made using its 7 nm process technology in the fourth quarter of this year, but “a few weeks ago” the company decided to take a drastic, strategic turn, says Gary Patton. The CTO stressed that the decision was made not based on technical issues that the company faced, but on a careful consideration of business opportunities the company had with its 7LP platform as well as financial concerns.  It is noteworthy that when GlobalFoundries first announced its 7LP platform in September 2016, it said that it would start risk production of processors using this technology in early 2018 (PR), which means that the first chips should have been taped out before that. When the company detailed the process in June 2018, it said that it expected to start “volume production ramping in the second half of 2018” (PR), which would be close to impossible if customers taped out their first chips only in Q4.  Generally, it looks like the company had to adjust its roadmap somewhere along the way, moving the start of high-volume manufacturing (HVM) further into 2019. Whether or not these adjustments had any implications on GlobalFoundries is up to debate. Keep in mind that AMD’s first 7 nm product was designed for TSMC’s CLN7FF from the beginning, so the company did not bet on GF’s 7LP in late 2018 anyway, and no rush with the manufacturing technology was needed for GF’s key customer.

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Tesla will remain public, Elon Musk says

Tesla will remain public, Elon Musk says | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Tesla will remain a public company, Elon Musk said in a blog post on the company website. He attributed the decision to shareholder sentiment. "Although the majority of shareholders I spoke t
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Tesla will remain a public company, Elon Musk said in a blog post on the company website. He attributed the decision to shareholder sentiment. “Although the majority of shareholders I spoke to said they would remain with Tesla if we went private, the sentiment, in a nutshell, was ‘please don’t do this,’” Musk wrote.  Musk said he was advised by Silver Lake, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley on the possibility of going private. He described the process of taking Tesla private as “even more time-consuming and distracting than initially anticipated.” That would serve as a distraction from increasing production on the Model 3, which is part of Musk’s plan for Tesla to become profitable. Musk also said in the post that the process of exploring his options reinforced his belief that “there is more than enough funding to take Tesla private.”  On August 7, Musk tweeted he was “considering taking Tesla private at $420.” A great deal of speculation followed, and the stock price fluctuated. Musk has previously said — on more than one occasion — he prefers private companies to public companies. But the path to going private wasn’t entirely clear; Musk wanted to keep his shareholders aboard though it wasn’t obvious how to structure such a transaction. Part of Musk’s motivation for staying public, he said in the post, was that his institutional shareholders had “compliance issues” when it came to investing in private companies.

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Gaming and Artificial Intelligence Take Center Stage for NVIDIA

Gaming and Artificial Intelligence Take Center Stage for NVIDIA | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
The company is still firing on all cylinders, even if investors were disappointed with its third-quarter outlook.
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Graphics processor maker NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) recently reported its second-quarter fiscal 2019 results, with some fantastic outcomes. The company's total sales were up 40% from the year-ago quarter to $3.12 billion, which outpaced analysts' consensus estimate of $3.10 billion. NVIDIA's earnings of $1.76 per share also surpassed Wall Street's expectations of $1.66 per share and were up 91% year over year.   Management has done a fantastic job of growing the company's top line, and the second quarter was no exception -- sales from the company's data center, gaming, professional visualization, and automotive segments all set records.  To understand NVIDIA's growth and what investors can expect in the months ahead, we have to look beyond the numbers, though. So let's dig into what management said during the earnings call to get a better understanding of why two of the company's key businesses -- data centers and gaming -- are growing and what the company expects in the near term.

AI inference is helping drive data center growth

NVIDIA has enjoyed multiple bright spots in its business over the past few years, but one of the best ones has been the company's fast-growing data center sales. In the second quarter, revenue from the segment jumped nearly 83% from a year ago and now accounts for 24% of the top line -- up from 10.5% just two years ago.  While there may be several reasons data center sales are growing quickly, NVIDIA's CFO Colette Kress spent significant time on the call highlighting the contribution that artificial intelligence inference systems (which help AI servers complete speech and image-recognition services) have had on the segment.

"We continue to gain traction with AI inference solution, which helped expand our addressable market in the data center," Kress said, and she added that the company's release of a new AI inference software (called TensorRT 4) in the second quarter will help the company "address a much larger portion of deep learning inference workloads, delivering up to 190 times performance speed-up, relative to CPUs."  CEO Jensen Huang said that his company has been laying the groundwork for AI inference for several years, and while it isn't the company's largest data center business right now, its importance is growing quickly.

"Inference is going to be a very large market for us. It is surely material now in our data center business. It's not the largest segment, but I believe it's going to be a very large segment of our data center business."  Keeping tabs on AI and its effect on the company's data center business is important for investors, because NVIDIA's leadership believes its total addressable market in the data center space will be $50 billion in the coming years.

Gaming sales are experiencing continued momentum

NVIDIA earns about 58% of its total revenue from its gaming segment, by far the company's most significant sales driver, and in the second quarter, the company improved gaming revenue 52% year over year.  The spike in sales was due partly to demand for back-to-school computers and partly to the growing gaming market, management said.  "Growth was driven by all segments of the business with desktop, notebook, and gaming consoles up, all strong double-digit percentages year-on-year," Kress said. She added that "The gaming industry remains vibrant. The esports audience now approaches 400 million, up 18% over the past year," and mentioned that popular games like Fortnite have helped the industry.  Kress also mentioned that the company's recently announced Turing architecture would bring new levels of gaming and be foundational to the company's gaming future.

"Turing is our most important innovation since the invention of the CUDA GPU over a decade ago," she said, adding, "This new architecture will be the foundation of a new portfolio of products across our platforms going forward."

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How Google's rumored 'Campfire' dual-boot Chromebooks may burn Microsoft

How Google's rumored 'Campfire' dual-boot Chromebooks may burn Microsoft | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Google is rumored to be bringing a Windows and Chrome dual-boot solution called 'Campfire' to Chromebooks. Here's why that's bad news for Microsoft.
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Seven years ago, Google began an assault on Windows PCs with its cloud-centric Chromebook PC alternative. Google's leveraging of a more secure, easier to manage, and more affordable "PC" positioned Chromebooks for market success. Despite this success, however, Chromebooks' global market share still pales in comparison to Windows PC's seemingly indomitable presence.

Google remains committed to an unrelenting multifaceted assault on Windows PCs, in an attempt to position Chromebooks as the "PC" for the modern personal computing age. Android apps on Chrome, aggressive Chromebook ads, a strategic push in schools, Progressive Web App (PWAs), and low Chromebook prices are all tools Google has and will use to make Chromebooks appealing to the masses.  Campfire, Google's rumored Windows and Chrome dual-boot solution, is just the latest, and possibly most important, tool in Google's arsenal to unseat Windows PCs as the PCs for the masses.

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Hackers gain access to millions of T-Mobile customer details

Hackers gain access to millions of T-Mobile customer details | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
T-Mobile has fallen foul of yet another cybersecurity issue. In a statement released this week the company said that an unauthorized entry into its networ
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T-Mobile has fallen foul of yet another cybersecurity issue. In a statement released this week the company said that an unauthorized entry into its network may have given hackers access to customer records, including billing ZIP codes, phone numbers, email addresses and account numbers. According to T-Mobile, the intrusion was quickly shut down, and no financial data, social security numbers or passwords were compromised.

Some three percent of T-Mobile's 77 million customers -- around 2.5 million people -- are estimated to have been affected by the incident, which the company has been unable to explain beyond the assumption the activity was "intentional". This isn't the first time T-Mobile's cybersecurity practices have come under the spotlight. Back in May a researcher discovered a bug on the company's website that allowed anyone to access subscribers' personal details. A spokesperson said that customers affected by the recent attack will be notified soon.

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Intel Tock-Ticks Chipsets Back to 22nm

Intel Tock-Ticks Chipsets Back to 22nm | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Intel's H310C chipset is fabbed on the 22nm process, meaning the chip-making giant has taken a step back to an older process as it struggles with a 14nm shortage.
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We've confirmed through multiple sources that Intel is fabbing its new H310C chipset on its 22nm process. That means the chip-making giant has taken a step back to an older process for the H310C chipset as it struggles with its ongoing shortage of 14nm processors. Contrary to recent reports, our sources confirmed Intel manufactures these chips and not TSMC (which has been reported in recent weeks), though that could be subject to change in the future.  The shift in Intel's strategy comes as the company struggles with the fallout from its chronically delayed 10nm process. Now the company is dealing with an increasingly loud chorus of reports that Intel's 14nm shortage is now impacting its server, desktop and mobile chips The worrying lack of motherboards with the H310 chipset, which began back in March, served as the first sign of an impending shortage of Intel's 14nm silicon. In May, reports surfaced that Intel had suspended production of the chipset, and in July, the company finally acknowledged a much larger issue with 14nm production.

Intel typically produces chipsets on a larger node than its current-gen processors, but the delayed 10nm production has found both chipsets and chips on the same 14nm node, creating a manufacturing bottleneck as the company experiences record demand for 14nm processor

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Tesla Erupts in Chaos After Senior Execs Leave, Musk Smokes Weed

Tesla Erupts in Chaos After Senior Execs Leave, Musk Smokes Weed | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
The turmoil at Tesla Inc. has reached a fever pitch, with the news that two senior executives are leaving Elon Musk’s electric-car maker emerging hours after he smoked marijuana during a podcast interview streamed live online.
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The turmoil at Tesla Inc. has reached a fever pitch, with the news that two senior executives are leaving Elon Musk’s electric-car maker emerging hours after he smoked marijuana during a podcast interview streamed live online.  Chief Accounting Officer Dave Morton gave notice Tuesday that he was resigning less than a month into the job, according to a Friday filing. Tesla’s stock plunged, then extended declines after Gabrielle Toledano, the head of human resources who’s been on a leave of absence, told Bloomberg News that she won’t rejoin the company. Tesla has long struggled with high turnover involving its senior executives, and its finance team in particular has gone through a period of significant tumult. In the first quarter of this year, the company lost Morton’s predecessor, Eric Branderiz, and Susan Repo, who was treasurer and vice president of finance. CFO Deepak Ahuja retired in 2015, only to return last year when his successor, Jason Wheeler, quit after just 15 months.  In leaving the accounting chief job, Morton walked away from a $10 million new-hire equity grant that would have vested over four years. Friday was also slated to be the last day for Sarah O’Brien, Tesla’s vice president of communications, whose departure was announced last month.

 
 

Up in Smoke

Musk, 47, sipped whiskey during a more than 2 1/2-hour podcast interview with comedian Joe Rogan late Thursday that touched on topics from flame throwers and artificial intelligence to the end of the universe. While Musk said he was “not a regular smoker of weed,” he took a drag from what Rogan said was as a joint containing tobacco mixed with marijuana, which is legal in California.  “It’s quite hard to run companies. Especially car companies,” Musk said. “It’s very difficult to keep a car company alive.”  Philippe Houchois, an analyst at Jefferies Group LLC with a hold rating on Tesla shares, said that Musk “seems to be on a slightly self-destructive bent.” In an interview with Bloomberg Television, he called for the company to split up the chairman and CEO jobs. Musk has served both roles since October 2008, and shareholders rejected a proposal calling for an independent chairman earlier this year.  “The team, the skill set that have been phenomenal to create Tesla are not the ones we need for the next stage,” said Houchois, who has a $360 price target on the stock. “There’s a skill set that needs to be added at the top that Mr. Musk doesn’t have.”

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This year’s iPhones likely to establish a lasting tech lead thanks to 7nm A12 chip

This year’s iPhones likely to establish a lasting tech lead thanks to 7nm A12 chip | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Apple is likely to establish a technical lead over most smartphone brands as the company moves to a 7nm process for the A12 chip that will power this year’s flagship iPhones. That lead could …
Richard Platt's insight:

Apple is likely to establish a technical lead over most smartphone brands as the company moves to a 7nm process for the A12 chip that will power this year’s flagship iPhones. That lead could last well into next year.  Supply-chain sources say that most brands are unlikely to use sub-10nm chips for some time yet …  Digitimes reports that four major chipmakers have delayed or held plans to offer their own 7nm process to Android brands. "With sub-10nm node manufacturing requiring huge [capital investment], a number of foundries have slowed down their investment pace while fabless chipmakers stick with 14/12nm products for cost reasons […]  Both Qualcomm and MediaTek are believed to have postponed the launch of their 7nm chip solutions to 2019 from the previously-planned 2018, according to the source […]  UMC has shifted its investment focus to mature and specialty process nodes, while Globalfoundries has decided to put its 7nm FinFET program on hold indefinitely. This leaves only Apple chipmaker TSMC with 7nm process capabilities, though Samsung has announced plans to develop its own 7nm process in an attempt to win back some of Apple’s A-series chip business. Apple used to split its chip orders between Samsung and TSMC, but the Taiwanese chipmaker beat Samsung to a 10nm process, and has been Apple’s sole supplier since the iPhone 7.  Macworld recently suggested that the 7nm process would be one key factor in this year’s iPhones being 20-30% faster than the iPhone X.

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ProBeat: Firefox is hitting Chrome right in the ads

ProBeat: Firefox is hitting Chrome right in the ads | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Mozilla made a surprise announcement yesterday: Firefox will soon block web trackers by default. This is a privacy and performance gain that Google is going to have a hard time matching in Chrome. …
Richard Platt's insight:

Mozilla made a surprise announcement yesterday: Firefox will soon block web trackers by default. This is a privacy and performance gain that Google is going to have a hard time matching in Chrome.  - Let me explain.  I’ve been hoping Firefox would start blocking trackers by default for a while now, ever since the company added Tracking Protection to Firefox 42’s private browsing mode in November 2015. With the release of Firefox 57 (Firefox Quantum) in November 2017, Mozilla added an option to enable Tracking Protection outside of private browsing, but to this day it still isn’t on by default. It is in Firefox for iOS, however, and Firefox for Android is expected to follow suit, but on desktop, Tracking Protection remains something users must turn on manually.  While I still wish Mozilla would have simply turned on Tracking Protection by default in Firefox for all platforms, my understanding is that simply too many sites break for this to be a viable strategy, at least right now. And yet, we learned yesterday that the company is building three tracker-blocking features into Firefox for desktop, specifically targeting trackers that slow down page loads (to improve page load performance), trackers that work across sites (strip cookies and block storage access from third-party tracking content), and other trackers that fingerprint users or mine cryptocurrencies.  The second one, removing cross-site tracking, is the real game-changer. This is what I mean when I say Firefox is hitting Chrome in the ads. I’m not talking about straight-up blocking ads. Sure, Chrome has started blocking some ads by default, but its implementation is by no means a full-blown ad blocker. Mozilla’s declaration of war on trackers also isn’t going to block ads directly. But it is going to significantly hinder how advertisers can target users. Blocking cross-site tracking by default is a massive win for users.  Chrome can’t respond to Firefox with the same functionality without some serious soul-searching. Google’s parent company Alphabet derives most of its revenue from ads, and cross-site tracking is critical to thousands of advertisers. When pop-ups got out of control in the early '00s Firefox took a stand and killed them all dead. Now Firefox is taking a stand against tracking on the web because it too has gotten out of control. More here: https://t.co/NFHik6BVCB   — Asa Dotzler (@asadotzler) August 30, 2018  Google will likely continue cracking down on “bad ads” in Chrome. That might look good on the surface, but in terms of performance and privacy, Mozilla’s new Firefox strategy will be much more effective. Mozilla doesn’t owe advertisers anything.

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Huawei debuts Kirin 980, the world's first 7nm mobile chip

Huawei debuts Kirin 980, the world's first 7nm mobile chip | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Huawei’s Kirin 980 chipset is the world’s first fabricated on a 7nm process, but that’s not all that’s impressive about it. It’s got a speedier GPU and modem, and a new dual Neural Processing Unit (NPU) that accelerates machine learning workloads.
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HiSilicon, Huawei’s Shenzhen-based, wholly owned fabless semiconductor division, has grown to become one of the largest integrated circuit designers in China over the last 14 years. Its Kirin series competes against the likes of Qualcomm, MediaTek, and other ARM offerings, and the newest member of the family — the Kirin 980 — is its strongest showing yet. Not only is it the most powerful system-on-chip Huawei has ever created, but in key benchmarks it leapfrogs Qualcomm’s top-of-the-line Snapdragon 845.  “Last year, we showed the world the potential of On-Device AI with the Kirin 970, and this year we’ve designed an all-around powerhouse that not only features outstanding AI capabilities, but also brings cutting-edge raw performance to consumers,” Richard Yu, head of Huawei’s consumer business group, said during the company’s keynote presentation at IFA 2018. “Equipped with all-new CPU, GPU, and Dual NPU, the Kirin 980 is the ultimate engine to power next-generation productivity and entertainment applications.”

A new architecture

The Kirin 980 is the world’s first mobile chip fabricated on a 7nm process. In partnership with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), Huawei managed to shrink the die size down from 10nm while boosting the number of onboard transistors. There’s a whopping 6.9 billion in all, the company claims, or about 1.6 times what’s on Kirin 970. (Huawei said it took a team of 1,000 senior engineers 36 months and more than 5,000 prototypes to get it right.)  That’s significant for two reasons: It has led to a 40 percent reduction in overall power consumption and a 20 percent improvement across metrics like app load times, machine learning workloads, and media post-processing.

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Google Titan hardware security key made by Chinese company Feitian

Google Titan hardware security key made by Chinese company Feitian | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Feitian, a public company based in Beijing, is the company behind Google's Titan hardware security key.
Richard Platt's insight:

A new Google product for securely logging into web services is made by a company based in China called Feitian, CNBC has learned.  The arrangement is somewhat unusual given Google's continuing hardware push in recent years, as the company has sought to compete more directly with device makers like LG and Samsung. Google doubled down on hardware last year when it moved to acquire talent and intellectual property from HTC.

Meanwhile, China has recently been a hotspot for Google. CEO Sundar Pichai told employees earlier this month that the company was "not close" to launching a search product in China, following reports that Google was planning to return to the country.

Google announced Titan at its Next cloud conference in San Francisco last month, noting that it comes with "firmware developed by Google to verify its integrity," but the company did not identify the maker of the product. But the wireless key bears a resemblance to a wireless key product from Feitian, a security company based in Beijing that went public on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange in 2014.  An employee who answered CNBC's phone call to Feitian's office in Santa Clara, California, confirmed that Feitian is working with Google on Titan. Another source familiar with the project also confirmed the partnership. The Information separately reported the partnership earlier Thursday.

A Google spokeswoman told CNBC that Google is Titan's "manufacturer of record" and that an unnamed third party is the one that in fact makes the Titan keys. But the spokeswoman declined to specify whether Feitian made the keys.

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Tesla patents technology to automate turn signals to improve safety, reduce idiot factor

Tesla patents technology to automate turn signals to improve safety, reduce idiot factor | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Tesla has filed for a new patent that describes a technology to automate turn signals. Surprisingly, it sounds like the technology is actually not for self-driving cars, but for drivers who forget/…
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Tesla has filed for a new patent that describes a technology to automate turn signals.  Surprisingly, it sounds like the technology is actually not for self-driving cars, but for drivers who forget/don’t use turn signals.  It has happened to most of us at one point or another.  A car swerves in your lane without signaling or a car slows down to take an exit without activating their turn signal.  At best, it’s annoying and at worst, it’s dangerous.  Tesla appears to have a solution. By leveraging its Autopilot technology, the automaker thinks it can detect when a driver should activate its turn signal and do it for them if they forget it.  The company describes the system in the patent application:  “An embodiment includes a method of automated turn signaling, the method comprising: determining, via the processor, that a vehicle will cross a lane line or turn based on a measured steering angle value that is within a value range stored in a memory, wherein the car includes the processor, the memory, and the turn signal source; and activating, via the processor, the turn signal source based on the determination that a vehicle will cross a lane line or turn.”

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Why Amazon has a big data analytics edge in primary care clinics

Why Amazon has a big data analytics edge in primary care clinics | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
The retail giant has a proven track record of using business intelligence more effectively than just about anyone else to cut costs and improve consumer satisfaction.

Via Florian Morandeau
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The latest twist in Amazon’s road into healthcare emerged with reports speculating that the company is building primary care clinics for its employees. And while Seattle-area medical groups and hospitals are likely wondering what that might mean for their patient populations the initiative, should it happen, could have implications beyond the Pacific Northwest in short order.

As costs continue to rise and quality stagnates, employers footing the hefty bill for their employees health benefits are looking for ways to make sure managing employee health doesn’t kill their business.  That is exactly where Amazon has an edge: Using big data, analytics and business intelligence to drive down costs while also ramping up consumer convenience and satisfaction.

Amazon not first with on-site clinics

Amazon is looking to put its stamp on healthcare in a number of ways. For instance, renowned cardiologist Maulik Majmudar revealed that he is leaving the Healthcare Transformation Lab to join Amazon, though in exactly what capacity is not yet known. In mid-August, the company joined forces with Google, IBM, Microsoft, Salesforce and Oracle in taking an interoperability pledge involving FHIR, HL7’s Argonaut and cloud computing.  

In late June, meanwhile, Amazon bought PillPack for its online virtual pharmacy. And in that same month the company, along with partners Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase named Atul Gawande to head the startup they are building that remains something of a mystery in terms of its intentions other than to reduce costs and create better models of care.

Amazon would not be the sole intrepid company establishing its clinics for its employees. Boeing and Disney do it. John Deere, too. Most recently, Henry Ford Health System and automotive giant GM announced plans for direct employer-contracted healthcare.

Should the company create clinics, however, many people will be watching closely because of its unique potential to shake things up.  “Amazon has established itself right now as disruptor 2.0,” said Paul Keckley, president of the Keckley Group, a healthcare advisory firm. “It has a take-no-prisoners approach to taking costs out of the systems. In 1.0, there were a lot of innovators doing different things. What Amazon does is say ‘we’re going to take this to scale.’”  Keckley said depending on what survey you read, an employee clinic can save $2,000 a year per employee if it is well-utilized. Employers are already paying skyrocketing healthcare costs for other providers in their respective markets, so why not do something semi-radical and try and head some of that off at the pass by providing a healthcare solution in-house, increasing access to care and the likelihood an employee will use it to reduce more costly episodes of care.  Although Amazon’s plans are little more than speculation at this point, on-site clinics and arrangements like the one GM and Henry Ford Health just struck set the stage for employers to make more demands of healthcare delivery organizations for market-based solutions, according to Rita Numerof, healthcare industry expert and founder of Numerof and Associates.

Amazon should concern health systems

The entire industry needs to pay attention. For one thing, manufacturers of healthcare products and services should note that Amazon, or any company, bringing healthcare delivery in-house allows them to have more direct control providing that service and that’s an important factor across the board. It’s more than healthcare manufacturers selling to these retailers, it’s about how to deliver services differently and make sure services and products have demonstrated value.  “Business is not going to be as usual and that’s a good thing. There is no question that this is disruptive and Amazon is in position to leverage its size and capabilities in data in delivering services to consumers that matter,” Numerof said. “That is a statement about a nontraditional player that has been extraordinarily successful moving into healthcare. They wouldn’t be doing this if they didn’t think there was a business opportunity.”  Numerof also said health systems should be very concerned about this, and would do well to step back and really look at the hard question of ‘how well-prepared are we to demonstrate the value of the services we bring to employee groups,’ whether it’s primary care or managing care in different settings. She said if a CEO or board is honest, most will have to say they are not ready. That’s because 30 years of building and perfecting models that are site-based, highly transactional and focused on getting paid for a service, but not necessarily connecting that service to the outcomes that are important across that population, has not prepared them to compete in the market of tomorrow.  “The other side of that, though, is they don’t want to flip their own model without making sure the payment is going to follow a different delivery basis. Nobody ever got points for driving a business into a ditch,” Numerof added.  Still, it’s all about choice and providers should ask themselves why an Amazon employee would still go to their hospital-based provider for primary care when they charge more than the employee clinic and are less convenient. Numerof also said the fact that Amazon is keeping the whole enterprise in-house, doing its own hiring and not contracting the operation out to another healthcare organization, is telling.  Don’t be surprised if in a year Amazon has solidified its own operation such that it branches out and sets up shop for other employers.  The implementation of work-site clinics, by Amazon and the others, is a not a passing event. It’s another step in the direction of a move to market-based model. And one that makes great sense. Employers have not taken as important a role in demanding better outcomes and greater accountability, but they need to because they have a vested interest in it.

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Using big data, analytics and business intelligence to drive down costs in primary care.

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Magic Leap wants to create art, not just technology

Magic Leap wants to create art, not just technology | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Everyone has an opinion about Magic Leap. It's either a revolutionary augmented reality company that could change the face of entertainment, or it'
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Everyone has an opinion about Magic Leap. It's either a revolutionary augmented reality company that could change the face of entertainment, or it's emblematic of everything wrong with the technology industry -- an over-hyped, multi-billion dollar pipe dream. Last week, we saw the first impressions of the company's long-awaited headset, which splashed a bit of reality on the company's hype cycle. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. Now that we have a better sense of what Magic Leap's $2,295 hardware is capable of, we can take a step back and consider what the company is actually trying to accomplish.  In a brief demonstration, I found the Magic Leap One headset much lighter than I expected, even though it looks like a pair of '80s sci-fi goggles. It comes with a wide variety of nose pads to ensure a snug fit. If you're in an area where you can buy the headset, it'll be delivered by a worker from the startup Enjoy, who will help you set everything up and make sure it fits properly. Putting on the Magic Leap One involves pulling back back the head strap, lowering it over your head, and then pushing the rear strap in a bit to tighten it. There are no dials or velcro strips to deal with.

The headset is connected to a small, Discman-shaped Lightpack, which houses all of its computing power. It's not very heavy, and it clipped onto my jean pocket easily, but you'll have to deal with a wire while using the Magic Leap One. Thankfully, it wasn't nearly as distracting as a VR headset connected to a PC. The company's motion controller feels like a larger version of the Gear VR's Touchpad -- it rested in my hand easily, and the thumb and trackpads were easily within reach. Tonandi, the Sigur Ros experience I was testing, relied entirely on hand gestures, so unfortunately I didn't get to try out the controller properly.  When I donned the Magic Leap One, I watched as the floors and walls of a meeting room were painted with virtual vegetation and floating animals, swimming all around me. Even though I couldn't wear my glasses with the headset (prescription Magic Leap lenses are coming soon), everything looked clear and detailed when I leaned in close. The AR environment looked sharper than anything I've seen on HoloLens or Meta's headset. And while the field of view could be better, it was significantly taller than the HoloLens, and a bit wider. That made Tonandi feel more immersive than Microsoft's experiences.  Groundbreaking hardware alone won't make Magic Leap a success. As with any new platform, software and a breadth of experiences will make or break it. That's what Rio Caraeff, Magic Leap's chief content officer, has dedicated the past few years of his life to. After serving as Vevo's founding CEO, he joined Magic Leap in 2015 to help spin up the company's media engine. And he's just getting started.  "I joined Magic Leap really because I saw the dawn of a new wave of computing that was in front of us," Caraeff told Engadget. "That doesn't come along very often. The cycles are compressing, but it doesn't come around every year or two. And I saw an opportunity to be a part of something new and to bring my experience with storytellers, with creators, with developers, with content creators, and really bring that to this medium. Because it's really, it's the perfect marriage of the intimacy of who I am as a person with the power of enabling technology."

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Intel reportedly convinced Microsoft not to choose ARM for Surface Go

Intel reportedly convinced Microsoft not to choose ARM for Surface Go | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Intel may have intervened and convinced Microsoft not to use ARM processors on its latest 10-inch Surface Go device
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Microsoft launched its new Surface Go device earlier this month with an Intel Pentium Gold processor inside. It’s been one of the main focus points for discussions around performance and mobility for this 10-inch Surface, and lots of people have wondered why Microsoft didn’t opt for Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors and Windows on ARM. Paul Thurrott reports that Microsoft wanted to use an ARM processor for the Surface Go, but that Intel intervened.  Intel reportedly “petitioned Microsoft heavily” to use its Pentium Gold processors instead of ARM ones. It’s not clear why Microsoft didn’t push ahead with its ARM plans for Surface Go, but in my own experience the latest Snapdragon chips simply don’t have the performance and compatibility to match Intel on laptops just yet. Microsoft has been working hard to improve this though, despite Intel’s threats it would sue competitors like Qualcomm if they attempt to emulate Intel’s x86 instruction set architecture. ARM processors should deliver laptop-class performance soon

It’s certainly an interesting time for Windows on ARM. New devices with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 850 processor will debut in time for the holiday season, but a new chip with even more performance improvements will be available early next year. ARM also laid out a two-year roadmap for its processor designs recently, and unveiled a Cortex-A76 CPU earlier this year. ARM claims the Cortex-A76 will deliver laptop-class performance while drawing smaller amounts of power like smartphones do.

It’s still early days for Windows on ARM, and once app compatibility, emulation, and performance is all improved then it could spell some serious trouble for Intel’s laptop dominance. Microsoft is also pushing ahead with ARM server designs, threatening Intel’s dominance in the datacenter. Intel has been struggling to move towards its next-generation 10nm Cannon Lake processors, with mass production of the chips now expected for 2019 instead of the end of 2018 as originally planned. Intel now faces a fight for its future, with strong competition from AMD, Nvidia, and Qualcomm making it a turbulent time in the ongoing processor and platform battles.

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AMD Wins Patent Dispute Against Vizio and Sigma Designs

AMD Wins Patent Dispute Against Vizio and Sigma Designs | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
The U.S. ITC reportedly sided with AMD in a patent dispute against Vizio and Sigma Designs concerning the use of the company's graphics tech in TVs.
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People shopping for cheap TVs will soon have fewer options. The U.S. International Trade Commission has reportedly sided with AMD in a patent claim against Vizio, a television maker known for its relatively low pricing and barred the company from selling a number of its products in the U.S. That's only a small loss for thrifty Americans but an important victory for AMD.

The ITC's decision comes roughly a year-and-a-half since AMD filed a patent infringement complaint against Vizio, Sigma Designs, MediaTek, and LG claiming the companies infringed on three of its patents. Details about the ITC's decision are scarce; the commission doesn't appear to have published information about the case, and the Bloomberg report cited by Seeking Alpha doesn't seem to be available to the public.  Right now we know that AMD believed the companies listed in its complaint used chips that violated its patents. Instead of going after Imagination Technologies or ARM directly, AMD thought it easier to win a case against the companies whose products relied on the chips. LG settled with AMD, Vizio and Sigma Designs were found by the ITC to have violated one patent, and MediaTek's involvement with the case is currently unknown.  Three patents were at the center of AMD's complaint. Two resulted from its acquisition of ATI Technologies in 2006; the other was AMD's from the start. The patents broadly covered a parallel pipeline graphics system and unified shader technologies as well as the architecture required to use them. AMD wanted the technologies for its graphics cards, but they could also be used to power displays for other types of products, too.  Products like, you know, television sets. According to Seeking Alpha, the ITC decided that Vizio and Sigma Designs violated one of AMD's patents but didn't violate another. It's not clear if the third patent wasn't even considered or why it wasn't included with this decision. Still, despite the lack of details, the order shows that graphics card companies like AMD and Nvidia don't have to sit idly by when their tech is used in other products.

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Jaguar is putting an electric model of ‘the most beautiful car in the world’ into production

Jaguar is putting an electric model of ‘the most beautiful car in the world’ into production | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Enzo Ferrari, who founded the Italian sports car company that bears his name, one described this as “the most beautiful car in the world." It was a sleek version of that same car, with a stylish blue exterior, that wowed onlookers when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle hopped into it a few month
Richard Platt's insight:

Jaguar has announced that it’s putting an electric version of that Jaguar E-Type, its classic 1960s sports car with a long hood and chrome bumpers, into production, with the first deliveries expected to start in the summer of 2020.  The news follows Jaguar debuting the EV sports car as a concept back in September, at the Jaguar Land Rover Tech Fest. An EV conversion service for existing E-type owners will also be offered, according to today’s announcement.  “We’ve been overwhelmed by the positive reaction to the Jaguar E-type Zero concept,” Jaguar Land Rover Classic Director Tim Hanning said in a released statement, adding that this represents a major stepping stone for Jaguar Classic. “E-type Zero showcases the incredible heritage of the E-type, and the expertise and craftsmanship at Classic Works, while demonstrating Jaguar Land Rover’s dedication to creating zero emission vehicles across every part of the business, including Jaguar Classic.”  Among the details of the all-electric E-Type:  Jaguar Classic is targeting a range in excess of 170 miles. It will be powered by a 40kWh battery, which can be recharged in six to seven hours, depending on the power source. It will also sport a state-of-the-art powertrain, LED headlights and a touchscreen to allow for a variety of “infotainment.”  Jaguar goes on to say an electric powertrain with single-speed reduction gear has been specially designed for the E-type, using many Jaguar I-PACE components. The E-Type’s lithium-ion battery pack has the same dimensions and a similar weight to the standard E-type’s six-cylinder XK engine and is also in the same location.

The electric motor, meanwhile, sits behind the battery pack, in place of the E-type’s gearbox. “A new propshaft sends power to a carry-over differential and final drive,” Jaguar explains. “Using an electric powertrain with similar weight and dimensions to the outgoing petrol engine and transmission means the car’s structure, including suspension and brakes, has not changed, simplifying the conversion and keeping the driving experience in line with the original vehicle. It drives, handles, rides and brakes like an original E-type with front-rear weight distribution unchanged.”

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Audi’s new electric sports car concept, the PB18 e-tron

Audi’s new electric sports car concept, the PB18 e-tron | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
It features a moveable cockpit, race car suspension, and solid state batteries.
Richard Platt's insight:

The car maker Audi has chosen Monterey Car Week to make a statement about the future, and that statement is called the PB18 e-tron. This is the first time Audi's unveiled a concept at Pebble Beach, and it's quite something—an electric sports car that leverages Le Mans-winning technology from the mighty Audi R18 e-tron quattro race car.  If we needed a clue as to the motivation behind the PB18 e-tron, consider it's internal codename. The project's working title was Level Zero, a reference to SAE levels of automation; this is meant to be a driver's car, not a driverless car. To that end, the cockpit and driver's seat can be moved laterally in the car; if you're at the track or don't have any need to cart a passenger around, you can center yourself in the car. (As with the Infiniti Prototype 10, the steering wheel and pedals are all drive-by-wire to make this possible.)  "We want to offer the driver an experience that is otherwise available only in a racing car like the Audi R18," said Gael Buzyn, head of the Audi Design Loft in Malibu. "That's why we developed the interior around the ideal driver's position in the center. Nevertheless, our aim was to also give the PB18 e-tron a high degree of everyday usability, not just for the driver, but also for a potential passenger."  The exterior styling of the PB18 e-tron is no less striking. It's almost a Shooting Brake, a little-used form factor that is in essence a two-door station wagon coupe. Under the aluminum and carbon body are three electric motors—one for the front axle and one apiece for each rear wheel. Together, they give the PB18 e-tron 500kW and 830Nm (612ft-lbs), with a boost function that adds an extra 70kW when you need to go really really fast.  Audi says that the PB18 e-tron should be able to go from a standstill to 62mph (100km/h) in just over two seconds. That should put the PB18 on a par with the dearly departed R18 race car. The R18 also inspired the PB18's suspension with a push-rod arrangement at the front and a pull-rod setup at the rear.

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