GlobalFoundries Receives $1.5 Billion in First U.S. CHIPS Grant

GlobalFoundries has been selected to receive the first major grant in the Biden administration’s CHIPS and Science Act program to reinvigorate U.S. chip production. The $1.5 billion in grants will be used to construct and expand facilities in Vermont and New York. Additionally, the administration plans to make available $1.6 billion in federal loans. The grants are estimated to triple GlobalFoundries’ New York state production capacity within the next 10 years. Chipmakers including Intel, Micron Technology, Samsung Electronics and TSMC have submitted grant applications for government assistance in building new or updating existing facilities. Continue reading GlobalFoundries Receives $1.5 Billion in First U.S. CHIPS Grant

Nvidia to Launch Unit Devoted to Building Custom HPC Chips

Nvidia is investing $30 billion in a new business unit focused on custom chips for high-performance computing. The company already controls about 80 percent of the advanced chip market but wants to avoid losing ground as alternatives spring up. Alphabet, AWS, Intel and AMD market high-end processors to third-parties, and Meta is expected to begin deploying its own Artemis AI chips this year. Nvidia has had discussions with Amazon, Google, Meta, Microsoft and OpenAI about helping them create bespoke chips and is also talking to automakers, cloud service providers (CSPs) and telecom companies, according to reports. Continue reading Nvidia to Launch Unit Devoted to Building Custom HPC Chips

Government Announces Dallas Testing Center for 5G Open RAN

The Biden administration has awarded another $42 million to advance development of the 5G Open RAN standard (O-RAN) that has become known as the “Huawei killer.” Administered by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration in the form of a grant, the funding will be used to establish a Dallas testing center and companion satellite facility in the Washington DC area for evaluation and R&D in O-RAN, a standard designed to facilitate interoperability of cellular hardware and software among different wireless providers. The goal is to bring more equipment manufacturers into a market dominated by China’s Huawei. Continue reading Government Announces Dallas Testing Center for 5G Open RAN

Qualcomm Earnings: All-In on XR, Smartphone Chips Rebound

Qualcomm reported revenue of $9.9 billion for the quarter ending in December, a 5 percent increase year-over-year. The company tallied $6.69 billion in sales of handset chips during the three-month period, up 16 percent over the prior year’s $5.7 billion, marking a turnaround after two years of declines. The quarter marked the beginning of shipments of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip, designed for mobile generative AI, and its adoption by OEMs and manufacturers including Samsung for its new Galaxy S24 lineup. Qualcomm also announced it will continue selling 5G modem chips to Apple. Continue reading Qualcomm Earnings: All-In on XR, Smartphone Chips Rebound

CES: TCL Demos RayNeo X2 Lite Augmented Reality Glasses

The RayNeo X2 Lite 3D AR glasses were demonstrated for the first time at CES 2024 in Las Vegas last week. Weighing just 60 grams (2.1 ounces), the sleek eyewear was lauded for its microLED optical waveguide display and standalone form factor, which does not require tethering to a computer or smartphone. The RayNeo X2 Lite, releasing in Q3 2024, and the Ray Neo X2, which had a limited launch in China but has not yet been released to the rest of the world, are anticipated as the first microLED display augmented reality glasses which will be available in the United States. Continue reading CES: TCL Demos RayNeo X2 Lite Augmented Reality Glasses

CES: Conversation with Cybersecurity Expert Anne Neuberger

CTA Vice President of Regulatory Affairs David Grossman spoke on a range of security topics with Deputy National Security Advisor for Cyber and Emerging Tech Anne Neuberger, principal adviser to President Biden on cyber affairs. During CES 2024, the two discussed the debut of the U.S. Cyber Trust Mark and its just-announced international reach, as well as spectrum policy and the reauthorization of the spectrum auction. Neuberger expressed her appreciation for partnerships in the private sector — and especially the Consumer Technology Association — in helping the government bring the Cyber Trust Mark program into being. Continue reading CES: Conversation with Cybersecurity Expert Anne Neuberger

Ergen Completes Dish Merger with EchoStar for 5G Moonshot

Satellite television pioneer Charlie Ergen has reunited his empire, having on December 31 completed the merger of Dish Network Corp. and EchoStar Corp. Ergen co-founded both companies and served as chairman of each prior to the merger. He now becomes executive chairman of the combined operation. Former EchoStar chief Hamid Akhavan was named president and CEO of the two companies in November and continues as operational head. Ergen feels his satellite infrastructure is well-situated for 5G. He plans to move the unified firm away from pay TV and into wireless services, competing with Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T. Continue reading Ergen Completes Dish Merger with EchoStar for 5G Moonshot

Apple iPhones to Continue Using Qualcomm 5G Modem Chips

Qualcomm has extended its deal with Apple to supply 5G modem chips, leading to speculation that the iPhone maker is behind schedule on its plan to bring the tech in-house. Apple has designed its own phone chips since 2013, and is currently using the A16 Bionic, manufactured by TSMC. The A16 functions as the phone’s brain but doesn’t handle external communications with cell towers. Apple has been developing its own modem chips since 2018, but apparently doesn’t feel they’re ready for prime time and, understandably, doesn’t want to risk a public debacle by rushing it. Continue reading Apple iPhones to Continue Using Qualcomm 5G Modem Chips

Samsung and LG to Launch Interoperable Smart Home Apps

Samsung and LG have entered into a smart home pact that enables each firm’s large home appliances to be controlled by the other’s app. This collaboration sprang from the Home Connectivity Alliance, of which Samsung was a founding member in late 2021. As a result, LG’s ThinQ app will indicate when the door has been left open on a Samsung Family Hub smart fridge. Likewise, Samsung’s SmartThings app can instruct your LG dishwasher to turn on at a specific setting. Samsung was also talking-up 6G and artificial intelligence at this week’s IFA 2023 electronics trade show in Berlin. Continue reading Samsung and LG to Launch Interoperable Smart Home Apps

Dish, EchoStar to Merge in Play for Next-Gen Wireless Market

Charlie Ergen, founder and chairman of the Dish and EchoStar satellite broadband companies is merging the two units in an all-stock deal he says will better position his empire to compete with AT&T and Verizon in the market for next-generation wireless services. Dish, which operates Boost Mobile, currently has a deal with T-Mobile for 5G. FactSet places Dish’s current market value at just above $4 billion and EchoStar at nearly $2 billion. “This is a strategically and financially compelling combination that is all about growth and building a long-term sustainable business,” said Ergen. Continue reading Dish, EchoStar to Merge in Play for Next-Gen Wireless Market

Two New Bills Target Innovation, Transparency Regarding AI

U.S. senators on June 8 introduced two new bipartisan bills with implications for AI, one focused on artificial intelligence, the other more generally on emerging technologies. The first is an accountability act that would require the U.S. and its agencies inform people when AI is used in government interactions. The second bill, the Global Technology Leadership Act, seeks to establish an Office of Global Competition Analysis (OGCA) that evaluates “competitiveness in technology and innovation sectors critical to national security and economic prosperity relative to other countries,” with emphasis on “strategic competitors.” Continue reading Two New Bills Target Innovation, Transparency Regarding AI

Nvidia Announces a Wide Range of AI Initiatives at Computex

Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang’s keynote at Computex Taipei marked the official launch of the company’s Grace Hopper Superchip, a breakthrough in accelerated processing, designed for giant-scale AI and high-performance computing applications. Huang also raised the curtain on Nvidia’s new supercomputer, the DGX GH200, which connects 256 Hopper chips into a single data-center-sized GPU with 144 terabytes of scalable shared memory to build massive AI models at the enterprise level. Google, Meta and Microsoft are among the first in line to gain access to the DGX GH200, positioned as “a blueprint for future hyperscale generative AI infrastructure.” Continue reading Nvidia Announces a Wide Range of AI Initiatives at Computex

Apple’s 5G Broadcom Extension Valued More Than $15 Billion

Despite moving a significant portion of its chip work in-house, Apple is extending its chip-supply contract with Broadcom in a deal estimated to be worth more than $15 billion with plans to run through 2026. The chip manufacturer will provide Apple with components for wireless connectivity, including 5G radio-frequency. There had been speculation that Apple planned to phase out Broadcom. Some see the deal as Apple’s capitulation to political pressure to source more U.S. manufacturing. Broadcom’s 5G-capable manufacturing hubs are located in U.S. cities including Fort Collins, Colorado, where Broadcom has a major facility. Continue reading Apple’s 5G Broadcom Extension Valued More Than $15 Billion

T-Mobile Will Pay Up to $1.35B for Mint Mobile Owner Ka’ena

T-Mobile has agreed to purchase Ka’ena Corp., whose subsidiaries include the Mint Mobile prepaid wireless brand in which actor Ryan Reynolds holds a 25 percent stake, in a deal worth up to $1.35 billion. Terms of the agreement include celebrity spokesman Reynolds continuing in his creative role at Mint, while co-founders David Glickman and Rizwan Kassim remain onboard to manage the brands, which include the Ultra Mobile international wireless offering and wholesaler Plum. Under Glickman and Kassim those adjuncts “will generally operate as a separate business unit,” according to T-Mobile. Continue reading T-Mobile Will Pay Up to $1.35B for Mint Mobile Owner Ka’ena

CES 2023 Report: Connection, Collaboration and Cooperation

What a difference a year makes. CES 2023 attracted more than 115,000 attendees from 140 countries to Las Vegas where 3,000 companies filled 2 million square feet of exhibit space. Among the major themes relevant to M&E this year were artificial intelligence, the multiverse, AR and immersive experiences, displays, mobility, IoT, and numerous policy and regulation topics. ETC@USC attended the convention with onsite and remote teams, once again blending its in-person tradition with a virtual presence. Our post-show report features extensive coverage and perspectives related to these key creative, business, and technology areas. Continue reading CES 2023 Report: Connection, Collaboration and Cooperation