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How Michelin Used TRIZ in their Product Development of its Tweel Design

This is a presentation on How Michelin Tires used TRIZ to develop their Tweel design that has been making its way into the commercial market for its applicatio…

Richard Platt's insight:

Since it was just announced that Michelin and GM are going to bring airless tires to us in 2024, I thought it important for those who cared to know how they did it.  So read on for yourself on how Michelin Tires used TRIZ to develop their Tweel design that has been making its way into the commercial market for this application we're supposed to see in 2024 (it's been a long time in development).

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Apple may use Hybrid OLED Technology for upcoming iPad Models

Apple may use Hybrid OLED Technology for upcoming iPad Models | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Richard Platt's insight:

Apple may use "hybrid" OLED technology, incorporating rigid and flexible OLED panel materials, as part of its rumoured plans to switch to OLED technology for upcoming iPad models. Apparently Apple is hesitant to rely solely on the flexible OLED technology it employs in its iPhone models since the panels tend to "crumple", and the effect is more evident as displays get bigger.  "When it became known that Apple plans to apply hybrid OLED to the first OLED iPad, the industry has assumed that the cause was cost reduction," the report said.

While the hybrid OLED technology has yet to be perfected and will take at least a year to become commercially viable before it could be incorporated into an OLED iPad by around 2024, the report said, adding that both Samsung and LG are pursuing ultra-thin glass substrates measuring just 0.2 mm thick to be used with the technology, down from the current standard of around 0.5 mm. It is understood that there is a reason why Apple preferred hybrid OLED other than this cost reduction. An official from the parts industry said: "Apple hated the fact that a part of the product screen could look wrinkled to the user's eyes when using a flexible OLED. "iPhone OLED has a 5-7 inch screen, so these characteristics are not well revealed, but it is relatively noticeable in large-screen (10-20 inch) products."  

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First Solar to invest up to $1.2 billion in US panel Manufacturing, including New Factory

First Solar to invest up to $1.2 billion in US panel Manufacturing, including New Factory | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
First Solar announced plans to invest up to $1.2 billion for scaling up domestic panel production, including construction of a new factory and expanding existing plants.
Richard Platt's insight:

First Solar announced plans Tuesday to invest up to $1.2 billion for scaling up its U.S. solar panel production. Up to $1 billion will go toward building a new solar panel factory somewhere in the Southeast. The new fully integrated factory, set to be First Solar's fourth in America, is expected to start operations in 2025, contingent upon permitting and pending government approvals. First Solar will also invest $185 million into expanding its 3 Ohio manufacturing facilities.  First Solar's announced investment will add at least 850 new manufacturing jobs, bringing its total number of U.S. employees to over 3,000 by 2025, the company estimated in the release.

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Ford, GM, Rivian issue Safety Recalls Affecting ~400,000 U.S. Vehicles

Ford, GM, Rivian issue Safety Recalls Affecting ~400,000 U.S. Vehicles | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Richard Platt's insight:

Ford., GM and EV pickup maker Rivian have issued safety recalls affecting nearly 400,000 U.S. vehicles, according to separate reports filed with NHTSA.  The largest of the recalls is for +277,000 Ford Super Duty models and Lincoln Continental luxury sedans from the 2017-20 model years. An internal lens on the rearview camera that is equipped on those vehicles has an antireflective coating that may degrade over time from exposure to UV radiation, that "can lead to a progressively foggy or cloudy rear-view camera image,". In 2022 alon Ford has issued 50 recalls — the most by any manufacturer — affecting 7.2 million vehicles, according to NHTSA data. Some of those vehicles may be part of more than one recall campaign.  GM is recalling nearly 121,000 Chevrolet Spark vehicles from the 2013-15 model years and Spark EVs from the 2014-15 model years because the hoods may open unexpectedly while driving, increasing the risk of a crash. Rivian Automotive is recalling a small number of EV pickups and SUVs because the front seat belt anchors could be improperly secured to the B-pillar and, therefore, might not adequately restrain an occupant during a crash. The recall covers 207 R1T pickups and R1S SUVs from the 2022 model year and marks the 2nd safety recall the EV startup has issued. The EV newcomer will inspect the front seat belt assemblies and properly secure the bolts, as necessary. Owners will be notified starting Oct. 14.

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Genesis, Hyundai & Kia Top J.D. Top the Power Tech Innovation Study for 2022

Genesis, Hyundai & Kia Top J.D. Top the Power Tech Innovation Study for 2022 | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
J.D. Power's 2022 U.S. Tech Experience Index (TXI) study reveals that Genesis ranks the highest in tech innovation, while Hyundai leads the mainstream brands.
Richard Platt's insight:

Good news for Genesis, Hyundai, and Kia as the J.D. Power's annual US Tech Experience Index Study for 2022 shows the Korean sister brands ranking high in the charts.  Genesis, which led the 2022 Vehicle Dependability Study in the premium category, tops the US Study in both premium and overall categories with an Innovation Index score of 643 (on a 1,000-point scale). The Korean luxury brand bested Cadillac and Mercedes-Benz in the study. Meanwhile, Hyundai (534) marks the highest in mass market ranking with Kia (495) right behind. Only Hyundai and Kia enter the top 10 rankings in overall innovation. They are also the only mainstream brands that went over the industry average Innovation Index score of 486. It's also important to note that Tesla and Polestar, despite raking chart-topping scores, were unofficial. Tesla's Innovation Index score of 681 was the highest in the study. However, it remains ineligible since the company doesn't allow J.D. Power access to owner information in the states where that permission is required by law.  The TXi Study complements J.D. Power US Initial Quality Study (IQS) and US Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study, measures how effectively each automotive brand brings new technologies to market. Responses were fielded from 84,165 owners of new 2022 model-year vehicles after 90 days of ownership, from February to May 2022.

 

Meanwhile, J.D. Power's US TXI Study also notes that fingerprint reader is the most problematic feature among the tech included in the survey. The feature, which was added to the study for the first time this year, also has the least overall satisfaction score. It even scored lower than interior gesture controls, which was lowest ranked tech feature for the past two years. The study also finds that dealers explaining advanced tech features to new owners results in owners being less likely to abandon the technology after trying. This highlights the important role of dealers in the acceptance of new technologies among vehicle owners.

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Elon Musk says Tesla Aims to Completely Roll Out Self-Driving Cars by End of the Year

Elon Musk says Tesla Aims to Completely Roll Out Self-Driving Cars by End of the Year | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Richard Platt's insight:

Tesla is aiming to have its self-driving technology ready and widely available by the end of 2022, CEO Elon Musk announced Monday.

Musk made the comments during an energy conference in Norway, saying the vehicles will not need human drivers. The company hopes to have a wide release for the vehicles in the U.S. and Europe, but the timeline depends on approval from regulators.Tesla's current Full Self-Driving package, or FSD, costs $15,000 to add to a vehicle. The package (supposedly) allows the vehicle to autonomously stop at stop signs, park, react to traffic while in cruise control, and steer on both freeways and city streets, according to the company. The updated version would allow vehicles to drive on their own, no human occupant required.  Elon Musk's Tesla is facing a massive recall from German regulators. Musk has previously stated that autonomous vehicles will be safer than cars with human drivers. Musk has predicted that owners of the fully autonomous Teslas may send them out as a ride-hailing service while they are at work, making for some extra income at the cost of increased traffic in cities.

 

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Honda and LG Energy Solutions To Build $4.4 Billion EV Battery Plant in US

Honda and LG Energy Solutions To Build $4.4 Billion EV Battery Plant in US | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Richard Platt's insight:

Honda Motor Co. and LG Energy Solution announced August 29 the 2 companies would form a Joint Venture (JV) to build a U.S. factory for Electric Vehicle (EV) batteries. In an official statement, the companies said the plant will cost $4.4 billion dollars and feature an annual production capacity of 40GWh.  According to a joint statement from the companies, the move to build the factory in the U.S. is meant to help supply Honda’s stake in the “rapidly-growing North American EV market.” The “pouch-type” batteries the factory produces will supply North American Honda plants. Although neither company named a specific location in the US for the factory, the WSJ reported that the company plans to build it in Ohio, citing anonymous sources. LG is increasingly a major player in the EV battery JV's with other major automakers. In 2014, LG Chem formed an agreement with Renault to develop batteries for EVs. After LG Energy Solution was established in 2020, it formed the Ultium Cells LLC JV with GM. in 2021, LG joined another such JV with Stellantis to build EV batteries in Canada. Honda already has 2 assembly plants, an engine plant and a transmission plant in Ohio, though it has manufacturing sites in Alabama and Indiana as well, along with a transmission plant in Georgia. Honda has been relatively slow to adopt full battery-EVs, despite early leadership in developing hybrid electric-gasoline vehicles, and the company behind the Prius hybrid does not yet offer a mass-market fully EV in the US. Despite Honda’s previous focus on using its batteries to build more “electrified” cars, which include battery-gasoline hybrids and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, the company now plans to move entirely into electric and hydrogen vehicles by 2040.

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SMIC Founder reportedly Sets up IC Photomask Materials Firm in China with $475M Investment

SMIC Founder reportedly Sets up IC Photomask Materials Firm in China with $475M Investment | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Richard Platt's insight:

Chinese contract chipmaker SMIC, amid tightening U.S. sanctions, is increasingly unlikely to have access to the technologies and materials needed to further improve lithographic technologies. According to DigiTimes the company’s founder, Richard Chang, recently participated in the establishment of a photomask material company in Zhejiang Province, south of Shanghai. Richard Chang, who founded China's pure-play foundry Semiconductor Manufacturing International (SMIC), reportedly has orchestrated the establishment of a semiconductor photomask materials company in the Chinese province of Zhejiang. A ceremony was held recently to mark the signing of a US$437.75 million investment project involving the founding of the startup. The founder of SMIC and looks to provide his Chinese chip manufacturers with an important raw material for the manufacture of photomasks, used in the manufacture of semiconductor products. SMIC surprised many this year when it became known that its been working for about a year on the photomask that is similar in technology to TSMC’s 7nm products. By obtaining a national supplier of materials for the photomasks, China will be able to further strengthen its technological sovereignty. Subscription required to read further.

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Amazon will shut down Amazon Care on December 31st

Amazon will shut down Amazon Care on December 31st | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it

Via Lionel Reichardt / le Pharmageek
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Amazon said Wednesday that it will shut down its Amazon Care service, a program that offered a combination of virtual and in-home healthcare. Amazon recently bought primary care company One Medical.

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Apple, Honda, Mazda are Reducing China Manufacturing After Supply-Chain Chaos

Apple, Honda, Mazda are Reducing China Manufacturing After Supply-Chain Chaos | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it

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Richard Platt's insight:

Supply-chain chaos due to COVID lockdowns, geopolitics, and now a heat wave are weighing on companies with China production hubs. Faced with COVID lockdowns, worsening U.S.-China tensions, and now an indefinite power cut in China’s heartland, companies are exploring how to divert their supply chains away from China.

On Wednesday, the Japanese newspaper Sankei reported that carmaker Honda was considering building a parallel supply chain outside of China to lessen its dependence on the country. Forty percent of the carmaker’s production is currently done in China. A Honda spokesperson characterized the plan as “risk-hedging” in a statement to Reuters, but said it was “not quite the same” as decoupling. Fellow Japanese carmaker Mazda is also considering moving production out of China. Earlier this month, the company reported an operating loss of $115 million for the previous quarter due to production snags caused China’s COVID lockdowns. In response, the company said it would build stockpiles of components in Japan and look for new manufacturing outside of China. “The key point is to keep [parts] in our hands,” given China’s COVID-zero policy, Honda senior executive Takeshi Mukai told Reuters.  (Subscription required to read more)

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Meta’s VP of Horizon is Leaving Company

Meta’s VP of Horizon is Leaving Company | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Meta’s Vivek Sharma, who was the company’s VP of its social VR platform Horizon, informed Reuters that he is leaving the company. His departure is happening at a bit of an awkward time for Meta.
Richard Platt's insight:

Meta’s Vivek Sharma, the company’s VP of its Horizon social VR platform, is leaving the company, as reported by Reuters. Meta spokesperson Bryan Pope confirmed Sharma’s departure to The Verge and said that Sharma is leaving to pursue an unrelated career opportunity.  Sharma’s departure is happening at a somewhat awkward time for Horizon. The metaverse is an enormous bet for Meta, with Horizon as one of its centerpieces, but the whole effort became something of a meme last week, and the metaverse is proving to be a costly venture so far. In Q2 2022, Meta’s Reality Labs division reported losing $2.8 billion. To help promote Horizon Worlds’ launch in France and Spain, CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted a screenshot in Horizon that prominently featured his dead-eyed avatar, which nearly instantly became a popular joke around the internet. Zuckerberg shared concept art of a more detailed avatar a few days later, but the damage had already been done. There’s even a Snapchat filter parodying Zuckerberg’s meme-ified look. The meme moment and Sharma’s departure are likely only small blips for the company’s metaverse ambitions. Meta is charging forward with new hardware, including a new VR headset that Zuckerberg just yesterday said would be launching in October. And this week, the company introduced its new Meta accounts that let you use a Quest headset without having to log in to Facebook. 

 

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Apple and Globalstar Rumored to Announce Satellite Connectivity Feature for iPhone 14 at September 7 Event

Apple and Globalstar Rumored to Announce Satellite Connectivity Feature for iPhone 14 at September 7 Event | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Apple may announce its long-rumored satellite connectivity feature for the iPhone 14 next month, according to Tim Farrar, a satellit
Richard Platt's insight:

Apple may announce its long-rumored satellite connectivity feature for the iPhone 14 next month, according to Tim Farrar, a satellite communications consultant at California-based research firm Telecom, Media and Finance Associates. In a series of tweets, Farrar said T-Mobile's and SpaceX's satellite connectivity announcement yesterday was likely intended to pre-empt Apple's announcement of its own satellite connectivity feature for the iPhone in partnership with Globalstar. Apple is holding a media event at Steve Jobs Theater on September 7, and the event's "Far Out" tagline and starry sky artwork have fueled speculation about a satellite connectivity announcement.

In February, Globalstar announced that it acquired 17 new satellites to provide "continuous satellite services" to a "potential customer," which might be Apple.  Farrar said Apple's service will be offered free of charge for two-way text messaging only at launch and will use existing satellite spectrum, with no rule changes from the FCC required. By comparison, T-Mobile and SpaceX plan to leverage T-Mobile's mid-band 5G spectrum and support SMS text messages, MMS, and select messaging apps, but Farrar believes this more ambitious approach will face regulatory hurdles around the world.

Bloomberg's Mark Gurman first reported that Apple was working on satellite connectivity for iPhones in December 2019. Earlier this year, Gurman said Apple was still working on the feature and said it could be ready for the iPhone 14 later this year. Gurman claimed the feature would be intended for use in emergency situations, allowing iPhone users to report emergencies to authorities and send short text messages to emergency contacts, and he added that the functionality could also be available on a new Apple Watch.

iPhones would need a special modem chip to connect to satellites, according to Gurman, suggesting the feature might be compatible with the iPhone 14 and newer only. By comparison, T-Mobile said the "vast majority of smartphones" already on its network would be able to connect to SpaceX's satellites with their existing cellular chips.

Additional details about Apple's rumored satellite connectivity feature, such as whether the feature will be limited to the U.S. or available globally, remain unknown. Apple's media event begins on September 7 at 10 a.m. Pacific Time and MacRumors will have comprehensive coverage of everything announced, so be sure to follow along then.

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T-Mobile Phones will Connect to Starlink for Free in 2023

T-Mobile Phones will Connect to Starlink for Free in 2023 | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
SpaceX's Elon Musk and T-Mobile's Mike Sievert announced the "technology alliance" at the space company's Starbase in Texas.
Richard Platt's insight:

T-Mobile and SpaceX have announced that Starlink satellites launched next year will be able to connect directly to the carrier’s phones over existing cellular bands. The companies hope to enable global roaming wherever satellite coverage exists, and the service may potentially be added for free to existing T-Mobile plans.

SpaceX’s Elon Musk and T-Mobile’s Mike Sievert announced the “technology alliance” at the space company’s Starbase in Texas.

“It’s a lot like putting a cellular tower in the sky, just a lot harder,” said Sievert. “Your phone doesn’t really know it’s connecting for space. It’ll think it’s connected to a cell tower, because that phone is using industry standard technology communication protocols and it has the spectrum already built in, as the vast majority of phones in circulation today do.” At first the service will only enable text messages, and possibly messaging apps, though Sievert warned that “we haven’t actually begun working with other companies… it’s a bit of a technical problem that we need help from the partner with.” There would probably also be a considerable delay of “half an hour or so” until the message is sent or received. Musk suggested, that the spec of the antenna and service potentially could enable multiple voice calls and real-time messaging in time. The service will work with T-Mobile’s own licensed spectrum only for now, meaning this is exclusive. However, both Sievert and Musk indicated they would like to find arrangements with providers in other countries using compatible spectrum, proffering a “reciprocal roaming” deal. That’s a TBD.  The product and service itself is still being hammered out, Sievert noted repeatedly, but you can expect to hear more in the coming months as the details occur to the companies in question and the tech itself gets demonstrated.

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Does SMIC have 7nm and If So, What Does it Mean

Does SMIC have 7nm and If So, What Does it Mean | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Recently TechInsights analyzed a Bitcoin Miner chip fabbed at SMIC and declared SMIC has a 7nm process. There has been some debate as to whether the SMIC process is really 7nm and what it means if it is 7nm. I wanted to discuss the case for and against the process being 7nm, and what I…
Richard Platt's insight:

Recently TechInsights analyzed a Bitcoin Miner chip fabbed at SMIC and declared SMIC has a 7nm process. There has been some debate as to whether the SMIC process is really 7nm and what it means if it is 7nm. I wanted to discuss the case for and against the process being 7nm, and what I think it means.  - The key pitches for a process technology are Fin Pitch (FP), Contacted Poly Pitch (CPP) and Metal 2 Pitch (M2P). The SMIC pitches for FP are larger than TSMC 10nm FP, and the CPP and M2P are the same as TSMC 10nm. The SMIC process also has some Design Technology Co-Optimization (DTCO) features not seen at 10nm. The bottom line question to answer is, the high-density logic cell density for SMIC is 89 million transistors/mm squared, (very similar to Samsung and TSMC's 1st gen 7nm processes) so this appears to be a 7nm “class” process and an acceptable 7nm alternative.  How did SMIC get here?  Several have commented that SMIC copied TSMC’s 1st gen 7nm process, and while they may have adopted elements of it, there are a lot of differences too, e.g., all the pitches are relaxed to 10nm or greater dimensions and some of the DTCO features are more advanced than TSMC’s 1st generation 7nm.  Could SMIC get to 5nm? Without EUV going below 7nm requires increasingly complex multi-patterning with increasingly restrictive design rules and spiraling costs. It is theoretically possible to do 5nm all optical or even 3nm. Self-Aligned Quadruple Patterning with immersion lithography can produce a 20nm pitch small enough for any 3nm requirements but would require a lot of cut masks for Fin and metal patterning to get there.

Conclusion SMIC appears to have a serviceable 1st gen 7nm process now with a reasonable prospect to get to 2nd gen 7nm/6nm in the near future. 5nm and 3nm while theoretically possible would be highly constrained and expensive process versions if pursued due to the lack of EUV.

 

 

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Sony sets up a PlayStation Mobile Gaming Business Unit in a Push beyond Consoles & Buys Savage Game Studios

Sony sets up a PlayStation Mobile Gaming Business Unit in a Push beyond Consoles & Buys Savage Game Studios | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Sony has dominated console gaming for several years, thanks to the PlayStation. But the company is now looking to diversify into the lucrative mobile market.
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Sony set up a dedicated PlayStation mobile gaming unit in a major push to diversify beyond consoles. The Japanese gaming giant launched PlayStation Studios Mobile Division on Monday and said it will run independently of the console business. Sony also said on Monday it acquired Helsinki- and Berlin-based mobile game developer Savage Game Studios.The move comes after a tough Q2 for Sony’s gaming division, and the company’s downgrading of its full-year profit forecast for the business as the Covid-induced boom — during which people were stuck at home playing video games — begins to fade.

Sony also continues to face supply chain issues and cannot meet the demand for its flagship PlayStation 5 console. Sony said that Savage Game Studios they just acquired is working on an “unannounced new AAA mobile live service action game.” A “triple A” game is an informal industry classification usually for a blockbuster type of title. A live service game is usually a title where developers continually update and add content to extend its lifetime and generate revenue over a longer period of time. “The mobile gaming market is overcrowded. There are over 1 million games in app stores nowadays. But players such as Sony, even if they are new entrants, can still make it just because of their fire power,” said Serkan Toto, CEO of Tokyo-based game industry consultancy Kantan Games. “There are not many companies like Sony out there, with such strong branding, a whole range of high-performing studios and a treasure trove of valuable IPs.”

 

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Surface Pro 9 to Ship With an ARM Chip, Based on Qualcomm’s Latest SoC for Windows Notebooks

Surface Pro 9 to Ship With an ARM Chip, Based on Qualcomm’s Latest SoC for Windows Notebooks | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Richard Platt's insight:

As for which silicon the ARM version of the Surface Pro 9 will be equipped with, assuming that the launch happens before Qualcomm’s annual Snapdragon Summit, it will likely be the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3. Microsoft will probably rename it the SQ3 while bringing some minor changes to it, such as varying CPU and GPU clock speeds. Currently, the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 only powers the Lenovo ThinkPad X13s. In terms of performance, Qualcomm’s latest and greatest chipset for Windows notebooks fails to beat the M1, let alone the M2. Regardless, performance is decent for an ARM-powered Windows machine, though looking at Apple, we would like to see Qualcomm getting a little more serious in this category. Then comes the level of optimizations, and there needs to be plenty of it for customers to even show an iota of interest in the Surface Pro 9. We may get 5G connectivity with the new model, but other info, like design changes, are currently unknown to us. 

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LG's new UltraGear curved OLED uses the same panel it supplied for Corsair's bendy screen 

LG's new UltraGear curved OLED uses the same panel it supplied for Corsair's bendy screen  | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Hardware announcements are cropping up all over the place recently, with many products being demonstrated during and around the Gamescom celebrations. With line ups like Hyper X's brand new line
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Hardware announcements are cropping up all over the place recently, with many products being demonstrated during and around the Gamescom celebrations. One of the latest to be announced is the LG UltraGear 240 Hz curved OLED screen. It's set to be shown off in just a few days at IFA, a computing and gaming exhibit in Germany. What makes this screen a bit of an odd one is that it's using the same kooky curvable panel from the new Corsair monitor, but without the flat-to-curve potential. It's also fair to say that a few gamers out there aren't too impressed with these latest panels. Many were hoping for higher resolutions, especially given the curved ones are designed to have you sit closer to the screen. Without seeing how they run in person it's impossible to speculate too much. Additionally, while not too common at the moment, it's likely we're going to see new graphics cards support displayport 2.0 while these monitors are still only working with 1.4. That's not going to be a problem for most people looking to add a screen to an already existing kit, but for anyone wanting to make upgrades in the near future, DP 2.0 could be worth thinking about. Pricing is also yet to be announced, though we wouldn't expect this monitor to be super cheap.  Until we see it out in the wild, Corsair's Xeneon Flex monitors could turn out to be all gimmick. It's hard to say how functional constantly changing your monitor will feel in action, but it's definitely a neat idea. If the general specs of the Xeneon piqued your interest, and you're not too worried about the bendy screen, then LG's UltraGear could be worth a look. It sports a wide 21:9 aspect ratio with 3440 x 1440 resolution on a 45-inch screen with a 240Hz refresh rate, so it's clearly aimed at gamers rather than graphic design. It also has that huge 800R curvature to encompass you, making it a potential great choice for things like racing sims. Plus the OLED screen paired with a high contrast ratio should make for some great looking scenes.  

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Microsoft Launches Arm-based Azure VMs Powered by Ampere ICs to Take on Intel Silicon

Microsoft Launches Arm-based Azure VMs Powered by Ampere ICs to Take on Intel Silicon | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Richard Platt's insight:

Microsoft has launched Arm-based VMs powered by hardware from Ampere, a startup developing data center chips to rival Intel's offerings. Microsoft announced today the general availability of virtual machines (VMs) on Azure featuring the Ampere Altra, a processor based on the Arm architecture. The 1st Azure VMs powered by Arm chips, Microsoft says that they’re accessible in 10 Azure regions today and can be included in Kubernetes clusters managed using Azure Kubernetes Service beginning on September 1. The launch of the Azure VMs is a notable win for Ampere,  with the ambitious goal of competing against Intel for a slice of the ~$10 billion Data Center IC market. Backed by $426 million in VC funding and led by former Intel president, Renee James who has inked deals with Oracle, Equinix, Google Cloud and China-based cloud service providers Tencent Cloud, JD Cloud and UCloud to launch Arm-based VMs.

Ampere competes with Arm-powered VMs from Amazon Web Services, which acquired startup Annapurna Labs in 2015 to build its own Arm-based, general-purpose server hardware lineup called Graviton. Microsoft is also reportedly pursuing its own Arm IC designs, as well, as are Chinese tech giants Alibaba and Huawei. Research firm Omdia said in 2021 that it expects Arm to account for 14% of servers by 2025. If the prediction comes to pass, it’d be a major coup against Intel’s x86 chips, which controlled an estimated 89% of the market as of March 2022.

 

 The Azure Arm-based VMs have up to 64 virtual CPU cores, 8 GB of memory/core and 40 Gbps of networking bandwidth as well as SSD local and attachable storage. MSFT describes them as “engineered to efficiently run scale-out, cloud-native workloads,” including open source databases, Java and .NET applications and gaming, web, app and media servers.   For Microsoft, the Ampere VMs launch is a step toward fulfilling the pledge it made 5 years ago to power +1/2 of its cloud data center capacity with Arm-compatible servers. After a false start with Centriq server processors from Qualcomm, which were ultimately discontinued, the company appears better positioned to reach that threshold.

 

“The general availability of Microsoft Azure VMs on Arm marks an important milestone in redefining what is possible in cloud computing,” Arm SVP Chris Bergey is quoted as saying in a blog post detailing the Azure VMs. “Through market-leading scalable efficiency and the liberty to innovate, Arm … is enabling Azure customers to embrace the increasing diversity of workloads with better overall total cost of ownership and cleaner cloud service operations.”

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HII Lays Keel of Future USS Enterprise (CVN 80) Aircraft Carrier

HII Lays Keel of Future USS Enterprise (CVN 80) Aircraft Carrier | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Richard Platt's insight:

HII, America’s only builder of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and leading provider of mission-driven defense technologies, celebrated the ceremonial keel-laying of aircraft carrier Enterprise (CVN 80) at its Newport News Shipbuilding division Aug. 27 2022. CVN 80 is the 3rd Gerald R. Ford-class Aircraft Carrier. Designed to replace Nimitz-class carriers, the Ford class features a new nuclear power plant, a redesigned island, electromagnetic catapults, improved weapons movement, an enhanced flight deck to support increased operational efficiency, and growth margin for future technologies. Enterprise is the 1st aircraft carrier not only designed digitally, but also being built digitally using visual work instructions on laptops and tablets rather than paper drawings. Construction processes on Ford-class carriers, including Enterprise, are enabled by workforce learning's that took place on USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) and John F. Kennedy (CVN 79). Enterprise is the 1st of a 2-carrier block buy for the Navy, with work also underway at NNS on the second, Doris Miller (CVN 81).

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Hankook Tires Investing +$600M in Tennessee Expansion

Hankook Tires Investing +$600M in Tennessee Expansion | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Richard Platt's insight:

Executives of South Korean tire manufacturer Hankook Tire America Corp. plan to invest $612 million into a Tennessee plant they opened in 2017. The expansion at Hankook’s factory in Clarksville, northwest of Nashville, will be Hankook’s 3rd since it broke ground on the facility in 2014. The latest project will add ~400 jobs to the plant by 2027, growing to ~2,300. A 2nd current expansion will double passenger car and light truck tire production and create ~800 jobs. The expansion enables Hankook workers to build the 1st truck and bus tires at the Clarksville site and comes ~18 months after the company’s last growth push there. When completed (est 2024), Hankook’s Clarksville plant will span more than 2,000,000 square feet. Hankook said they expect it will reach full capacity by early 2026.  

Word of its new plans comes just days after Bridgestone Americas said it will expand its truck and bus tire plant southeast of Nashville.

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New Apple CarPlay Looking for a Dashboard Showdown with Automakers

New Apple CarPlay Looking for a Dashboard Showdown with Automakers | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Richard Platt's insight:

Apple's new version of CarPlay is designed to take over every screen on the dashboard, replacing user interfaces and controls while gaining access to crucial vehicle and driver data. It's likely to launch a turf war with automakers reluctant to give up such valuable real estate. "At stake is the search experience in cars, which are essentially browsers on wheels," said Roger Lanctot, Strategy Analytics' director of automotive connected mobility for J.D. Power. 

"Apple, Google and Amazon are desperate to own the emerging connected car,". CarPlay and Google's Android Auto have made automakers' infotainment systems largely obsolete for many consumers. "There's no question that Apple and Google have won the user experience war," "CarPlay and Android Auto aren't flawless, but they work a lot better than [automakers'] embedded systems for key things like mapping and accessing applications for music, podcasts and audio books." Apple rival Google has already moved deeper into the dashboard with its Android Automotive Operating System (not to be confused with Android Auto). Automakers such as GM, Volvo/Polestar, Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi have cars with Android Automotive on board. Android Automotive is powering infotainment functions, instrument clusters and other displays, said Andrew Poliak, CTO for Panasonic Automotive Systems.  Android Automotive is different than the current CarPlay because it is an automotive operating system such as QNX or Linux and allows automakers more control.  "Automakers are able to build their own systems using Android Automotive OS and restrict or allow anything to run on it,"  Apple CarPlay currently runs on Google's Android Automotive OS in several vehicles, Poliak said. This kind of compatibility likely will not be the case with the next version of CarPlay given Apple's walled-garden approach to its technology.

"Google has taken many steps to improve its transparency and make clear its automotive roadmap," "Apple is worse than Google when it comes to inflexibility, but Apple will no doubt tell automakers that their customers are clamoring for an Apple-like experience in their cars." 

Apple said it was "working with automakers around the world" when it introduced the new version of CarPlay at its annual Worldwide Developer Conference in June. The tech giant displayed 14 major car company logos including major brands such as Ford, Mercedes-Benz and Honda. It said the new version will be available in vehicles starting late in 2023. Because CarPlay is uniform across all vehicles, automakers relinquish brand differentiation on in-dash displays to Apple and Google. In its current iteration, automakers restrict CarPlay to a vehicle's center-dash display and allow it to duplicate iPhone apps for calls, messages and navigation. The system includes 3rd-party apps, including Waze, Spotify, ChargePoint and others. Drivers control the apps via a car's touchscreen and voice control.  The latest version of CarPlay reaches even deeper into the dashboard and "communicates with your vehicle's real-time systems," Emily Schubert, Apple's senior manager for car experience engineering.  

CarPlay could replace an automaker's instrument panel displays for speedometer, tachometer, temperature gauges and fuel or EV battery level. It also allows customizing an instrument panel using Apple-curated layouts, colors, backgrounds and dials. And it can add customizable widgets to car displays that show calendar items, weather information, address book contacts and more from a connected iPhone. Given their long product lead times, automakers would need to start implementing the new version of CarPlay soon. But Rob Passaro, an automotive technology and product management consultant who worked closely with Apple while at BMW, said he hasn't heard of any automakers proceeding with its implementation since the announcement.  Apple's vast popularity among consumers gives it significant leverage over automakers. Buyers now see CarPlay as standard equipment, said Brian Moody, executive editor at Cox Automotive's Autotrader. According to Schubert, 98% of new vehicles now come with CarPlay and 79% of buyers "only consider CarPlay-capable vehicles" when shopping for new cars.  Apple has periodically improved it with new user interfaces, apps and features. In an update last year, CarPlay gained features such as showing EV charging stations along a route and adding optional color schemes.  The new version would be the most significant update and comes as Google and Amazon also make inroads into the vehicle. 

 

 

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Lucid Hires ex-Apple Exec Amid Software struggles with its Air Sedan

Lucid Hires ex-Apple Exec Amid Software struggles with its Air Sedan | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Richard Platt's insight:

Lucid Motors has appointed a former Apple executive, Derrick Carty, as VP of Platform Software Engineering amid a slow rollout of key software features on the EV startup's Air sedan. Carty's responsibilities at the newly created post include advanced driving assistance systems, audio, embedded software, and systems architecture, Lucid said. "Carty brings decades of global experience in software development and user interface expertise to Lucid, including 23 years with Apple, and most recently as a consultant for Lucid's infotainment software team,". Mr. Carty will report to Michael Bell, Lucid's Senior VP of Digital. Carty previously worked at his consulting firm, Carty Consulting. Prior to that, he held posts as Director and Senior Director at Apple. "Derrick's wealth of experience with systems architecture and his ability to lead teams that create customer-friendly, easy-to-use software interfaces is crucial as we continue to roll out new Lucid Air features via our over-the-air software updates," Bell said in the release. Carty holds a BS from Stanford University in computer science. Lucid's Air sedan, has seen complaints from reviewers and early buyers concerning the six-figure sedan's in-house software as being slow, glitchy and incomplete. "Lucid seems to have whiffed it when it comes to the Air's in-car tech and driver aids," Edmunds said in a review on its website. "Our test car was plagued by persistent Bluetooth connection errors on both iPhone and Android devices." Edmunds also noted Lucid's delays incorporating Apple CarPlay and Android Auto software, which mirror smartphone applications like music, navigation and podcasts onto a vehicle's infotainment screen. Lucid, which has been regularly updating its vehicle software through its over-the-air capability, has said CarPlay and Android Auto will be coming this year along with other improvements. YouTube content creator Jon Rettinger, who was an early buyer of the limited-run Air Dream Edition in December, announced last month that he had sold the sedan despite high praise for it overall. "The performance was nuts, the luxury was incredible, the build quality was outstanding," Rettinger told his 1.6 million subscribers on YouTube. But he also reported software issues during his ownership. "I've mentioned that the software stuff has not been as incredible as I would have liked," Rettinger said. But his reason for selling the Air, he added, was that he had taken delivery of an EV pickup from another California EV startup, Rivian Automotive Inc., and had to choose between the two

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Chinese IC Foundry SMIC to Invest $7.5 B on New Tianjin Fab 

Chinese IC Foundry SMIC to Invest $7.5 B on New Tianjin Fab  | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Chinese chip foundry Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC) said it had signed a framework agreement to invest $7.5 billion for a new 12-inch foundry production line in Tianjin.
Richard Platt's insight:

Chinese chip foundry Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC) said it had signed a framework agreement to invest $7.5 billion for a new 300mm foundry production line in Tianjin. The plans mark an ongoing expansion for the Shanghai-based company, which is under U.S. sanctions related to its ties to China's military, which the company denies. It is a key part of China's drive to build up its domestic chip sector.  According to a late Friday filing, the new fab will have a production capacity of 100,000 300mm (12-inch) wafers/month serving process nodes between 28nm and 180nm. 

The Tianjin fab will be the 4th the company has under construction in China, complementing three 200mm fabs and three other 300m fabs in operation in the country. While US sanctions that are intended to prevent SMIC from producing advanced chips at the industry standard, some analysts have found signs that SMIC has nevertheless managed to produce 7-nanometer chips.  SMIC lags behind TSMC, Samsung and Intel in technology prowess and market share. The company has been attempting to expand capacity as the US and China Inc compete over access and development of chip technology.  The Chinese government subsidized plant will be run as a subsidiary of SMIC in cooperation with the government of Tianjin's Xiqing district, and will have an initial registered capital of $5 billion, the filing said. The company did not say when the plant would go into production. SMIC said in late 2020 it would build a 300mm fab in Beijing, followed by announcements last year of new fabs in Shenzhen and Shanghai.  

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Ford Mustang Mach-E price hiked by as much as $8,475 due to battery costs

Ford Mustang Mach-E price hiked by as much as $8,475 due to battery costs | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Ford said the markups are due to "significant material cost increases, continued strain on key supply chains" and market conditions.
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Ford Motor is hiking the starting prices of its electric Mustang Mach-E crossover by more than $8,000 for some models, as it reopens order banks for the 2023 model year. The markups – ranging between $3,000 and $8,475, depending on the model and battery – are due to “significant material cost increases, continued strain on key supply chains, and rapidly evolving market conditions.” The Mach-E is the latest EV to experience a price increase, as raw material costs for batteries for EV's more than doubled during the coronavirus pandemic. The starting prices for the 2023 Mustang Mach-E will now range from about $47,000 - $70,000, up from ~$44,000 - $62,000 for the 2022 model year. In addition to the new pricing, Ford said it changed options and increased capabilities for some Mach-E models. It also is increasing shipping charges on the Mach-E by $200 to $1,300 on all models. Prices exclude taxes and shipping/delivery costs. Ford earlier this month also raised the starting prices of its electric F-150 Lightning pickup by between $6,000 - $8,500, depending on the model. The automaker cited similar reasons for those increases, specifically related to raw materials such as lithium, cobalt and nickel that are used in batteries for the vehicles. Others automakers including General Motors, Rivian, Lucid and Tesla also significantly raised prices on their newest Ev's.  In addition to the new pricing, Ford said it changed options and increased capabilities for some Mach-E models. It also is increasing shipping charges on the Mach-E by $200 to $1,300 on all models.Customers who have existing, unscheduled 2022 model year orders will receive a “private offer” to convert to a 2023 model year vehicle, the company said. It’s not immediately clear what price those customers would be offered.

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Mark Zuckerberg Answers Joe Rogan on Facebook's Moderation of Controversial Content

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Mark Zuckerberg talks to Joe Rogan and answers for Facebook's Moderation of Controversial Content.  If you like Joe Rogan, he gives Mark some tough and thoughtful questions, and to Mr. Zuckerberg's credit, he explains some of the decision making and what they face at Facebook.  A good interview, worthwhile to watch if you're interested in this stuff

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Samsung To Keep Using AMD's RDNA GPUs For Exynos SoCs

Samsung To Keep Using AMD's RDNA GPUs For Exynos SoCs | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
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Samsung's Xclipse 920 integrated GPU based on AMD's RDNA 2 architecture has not lived up to expectations, but Samsung will continue to use AMD's RDNA architectures for its future built-in GPUs.  "We plan to continue to implement other features in the RDNA series by working closely with AMD going forward," said Sungboem Park, a VP of Samsung who oversees GPU development. "In general, mobile tends to lag around 5 years or so behind consoles when it comes to graphics technology, however, we were able to incorporate the latest console technologies in the Exynos 2200 mobile processor quickly through our collaboration with AMD.   Samsung is certainly playing it safe with its choice of SoCs and GPUs as it also intends to use Snapdragons for other mobile products as well, according to Qualcomm. "In addition to Galaxy smartphones, the agreement includes PCs, tablets, extended reality and more," said Amon. While AMD's RDNA architectures are feature rich and scalable in terms of performance, power, and die size, actual implementation matters a lot. A GPU realization depends on multiple factors, including experience of its engineering team in general and with a particular GPU architecture in particular, design decisions, cost, and process technology. Therefore, Samsung might build a competitive RDNA-based integrated GPU sometimes in the future, but its engineers need to gain general GPU development experience first, and the only way to get it is to keep designing graphics processors.

 

 

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