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Mike Noonen

Mike Noonen: The Startup Launching Maestro

By Bolaji Ojo

What’s at stake?
Mike Noonen is the man semiconductor startup founders and venture capitalists call upon to hustle their investments through production to IPO or acquisition. By joining AR/VR holographic chip developer Swave, Noonen is about to accelerate disruption of the virtual imaging market.

The Mike Noonen semiconductor startup academy would be a roaring success. That is, if Noonen, now CEO of Swave Photonics, had one.

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lithium-ion battery pack

The Lithium-Ion Battery Was a Long Time Coming

By George Leopold

What’s at Stake:
Early in the previous century, about 38 percent of vehicles on American roads were powered by electricity. Last year, just 3 percent of new U.S. cars sold were electric. Those statistics underscore the decidedly uneven development and market impact of the leading electric vehicle battery chemistry. As author Charles Murray notes, lithium-ion technology has nonetheless helped reignite the EV market after many fits and starts.

Veteran technology journalist Charles Murray chronicles the history of the lithium-ion battery and its central role in propelling EVs in Long Hard Road: The Lithium-Ion Battery and the Electric Car (Purdue University Press, September 2022).

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China

VW-Horizon Deal: Winners, Risks, and Legacy OEMs’ Future

By Junko Yoshida

What’s at stake?
China is primed to dominate the global EV market. Hence, news of the VW-Horizon Robotics agreement doesn’t necessarily represent a design win for the Chinese AI chip startup. At stake is the survival of Volkswagen, among the world’s largest legacy OEMs. Has VW considered the consequences of this deal ten years down the road?

When the news of Volkswagen’s 2.4-billion euro investment in China’s AI startup broke last week, Tu Le was one of our first calls.

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Nakul Duggal on stage at The Autonomous

Qualcomm’s Automotive Gambit: Doubling Down on Smartphones

What’s at stake:
Qualcomm senior vice president Nakul Duggal does not lose sleep over carmakers’ veiled threats about developing their own chips. Duggal says Qualcomm understands that different OEMs are at different levels of maturity. Chip suppliers jockeying to lead carmakers to next-generation EV/AV architectures must understand what customers want, and know every OEM’s development stage. That understanding will allow them to offer multi-generational and scalable SoCs tailored to customers’ requirements.

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electrical and electronics engineering as a career

CHIPS Act: Opening a Pipeline for New Engineers

By Junko Yoshida

What’s at stake?
The CHIPS Act has become law, fueled by the political will to shore up America’s manufacturing and technological edge to counter China. The pandemic-induced global chip shortage helped generate bipartisan support for the new legislation as both government and industry came to the realization that decades of offshoring might have been a mistake. But ultimately, the CHIPS Act will be deemed successful only if it broadens the pipeline of U.S.-educated EEs who are trained and ready to step into jobs at the promised domestic facilities.

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Emmanuel Macron, President of France (in the center) listens to Jean-Marc Chery, STMicroelectronics CEO talks. Thierry Breton, EU Commissioner for Internal Market stands next to Macron.

CHIPS Act: Europe Moving Fast, With Intel Along for the Ride

By Junko Yoshida

What’s at stake?
As shown this week when STMicroelectronics and GlobalFoundries revealed their joint 300mm fab project in Crolles, France, Europe is moving full-speed ahead with its CHIPS Act. At stake is the future not just of European chip companies, but its entire high-tech industry. We caught up with Jean-Christophe Eloy, CEO of Yole Group, to get his assessment of the E.U.’s ambitious strategy.

Few would have predicted that 27 disparate European states could unite to forge a strategy for resurrecting the region’s semiconductor industry.

Read More »CHIPS Act: Europe Moving Fast, With Intel Along for the Ride
Art of herding cats

RISC-V’s CTO on the Art of Herding Cats

By Junko Yoshida

What’s at stake?
The measure of success for an open-source community such as RISC-V can be memberships, number of shipped products or revenues generated by its member companies. But just as significant is the number of specs ratified within the community. This matters because specs form the groundwork for members’ technical advancements, engagements with developers and future adoption of the technologies involved.

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Internet of Things IoT connected devices Arm

Ian Drew: On IoT and Life After Arm

By Junko Yoshida

What’s at stake?
IoT devices are fundamentally different from PCs or mobile phones. They must last 20 to 30 years when deployed in industrial settings. “Imagine a critical vulnerability found in a gateway that sits on top of your oil rig,” says entrepreneur and Arm veteran Ian Drew. Software engineers and chipmakers might be clueless about their own older products that went into that gateway. At stake is the long-term viability and security of IoT devices.

Read More »Ian Drew: On IoT and Life After Arm