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Stuart Pann is senior vice president and general manager of Intel Foundry Services

Intel Pans Inward for Foundry Boss; Is Tower Deal in Trouble?

By Bolaji Ojo

What’s at stake:
The executive Intel has appointed to head its foundry division has no experience managing a contract chipmaker. Was Intel tired of waiting for regulators to approve its quest for Tower Semiconductor, the contract chipmaker it was expected to tap for a seasoned general manager?  

Tower Semiconductor Ltd. boss Russell Ellwanger will not be heading Intel Corp.’s foundry services business.

Read More »Intel Pans Inward for Foundry Boss; Is Tower Deal in Trouble?
Nviida pitches AI and Omniverse to the auto industry.

Robocar No Longer Drives Nvidia GTC

By Junko Yoshida

What’s at stake:
For years, Nvidia has hung its hat on autonomous driving as the linchpin of its AI technologies. However, that revenue stream is waning, not because AV is a solved problem but because it is just too hard a problem to solve. What’s the next big AI application? 

GTC, put together by Nvidia, is one of the world’s premier conferences dedicated to AI developers. Nvidia has used the venue to showcase its AI prowess built on GPU technology.

For several years, AI-enabled autonomous driving has highlighted every GTC. Nvidia presented its AI solutions — deployed in data centers for AI training and its multi-thousand teraflops SoC inside vehicles’ central brains doing AI inference. 

However, it was evident in a pre-GTC briefing this week that Nvidia has begun singing a markedly different tune on fully automated driving. 

Read More »Robocar No Longer Drives Nvidia GTC

Get Ready for UX-Defined Vehicles or Not

By Junko Yoshida

What’s at stake:
Everyone’s mimicking Tesla, pioneer of the software-defined vehicle. Software will buttress next-generation vehicle architectures. But shouldn’t carmaker imagination reach further, to a vehicle defined by user experience?

The “software-defined vehicle” is a convenient and overused terminology when auto industry types discuss the architecture of future vehicles. The term implies a car whose functions and performance can be patched, fixed, and updated over the air. Such software can alter and improve control, for example, of a vehicle’s firmware and entertainment system.

But c’mon. Can’t we do better than that?

Read More »Get Ready for UX-Defined Vehicles or Not
Ultra Cruise will become available when GM launches the Cadillac CELESTIQ.

The Ultra Question for Ultra Cruise

By Junko Yoshida

What’s at stake:
General Motors is throwing all the sensor technologies they can scrounge at its upcoming Ultra Cruise – the company’s next-generation hands-free driving system. Will that make Ultra Cruise a better “automated vehicle” than a Tesla?

The sensor suite that comes with General Motor’s new Ultra Cruise seems quite impressive. But what jumped out to me in GM’s announcement wasn’t the gadgetry. The grabber was the new claim that GM customers will “over time” be able to “travel truly hands-free with Ultra Cruise across nearly every paved public road in the U.S. and Canada, including city streets, subdivisions and rural roads, in addition to highways.”

Read More »The Ultra Question for Ultra Cruise
Jensen Huang, Nvidia CEO

Nvidia: Not ‘Just a Chip Company’ Anymore

By Bolaji Ojo

What’s at stake?
Ahead of its GTC AI and metaverse conference for developers next week, we review the budding results of Nvidia’s decade-long investment in artificial intelligence and its steady buildup of a strong hardware and software position in the segment. Nvidia is aiming for the AI Moon, and it may just be within its reach.

Artificial Intelligence, warts and all, appears destined to play a significant role not just in the semiconductor industry but also in the larger global economy over the next decade and Nvidia Corp. is setting itself up as a pioneer and major beneficiary of the new expected opportunities.   

Read More »Nvidia: Not ‘Just a Chip Company’ Anymore

IoT Chip Suppliers Race for a Better Mousetrap

By Junko Yoshida

What’s at stake:
In an era of increasingly diversified embedded and IoT system designs, competition among semiconductor companies is no longer about whose chip has the best performing spec. The industry’s attention is quickly shifting toward development platforms. At stake for chip vendors is whether they have chops to design effective tools that offer flexibility, ease of use, and the accelerated design cycle that customers want.

The business model in semiconductors is in flux. Chip companies can no longer rest easy with a conventional one-time approach to revenue generation.kost

Nowadays, many companies hope to develop a better mousetrap that can turn one-time customers into a “captive audience” generating “a recurring revenue stream.”

Read More »IoT Chip Suppliers Race for a Better Mousetrap

Cellular IoT: Can a Startup Revive a Stagnant Market?

By Junko Yoshida

What’s at stake:
The growth of the cellular IoT market did not stall for lack of trying. But repeated failures to launch have left system designers and users in the lurch, leaving the segment ignored, even discredited. At stake are billions of “things” left unconnected, unable to self-report their status. That makes it impossible to monitor the devices, intervene or fix them, when needed. Who will step up to the plate?

Starting from the top, what exactly is cellular IoT? Who wants it? If there is demand for it, then why does cellular connectivity rarely make the headlines? What issues, if any, prevent the scaling—and commercial viability—of cellular IoT?

Meet Blues Wireless.

Read More »Cellular IoT: Can a Startup Revive a Stagnant Market?
NASA chooses Microchip

Microchip: Riding RISC-V All the Way to New FPGA Platform

By Junko Yoshida

What’s at stake:
RISC-V’s open-standard instruction set architecture has already proven an effective underlying technology for designers seeking differentiated microcontrollers/microprocessors. Will RISC-V find a new home in FPGAs? Microchip believes it has the answer.

Microchip is enjoying a market resurgence for its FPGA products.

Originally developed by Actel Corp., later acquired by Microsemi (October 2010), and now owned by Microchip (May 2018), the peripatetic FPGA is known for its immunity to single event upsets and for military-grade reliability. Those attributes have opened opportunities for Microchip’s FPGAs in avionics, military, and medical electronics markets.

Read More »Microchip: Riding RISC-V All the Way to New FPGA Platform