Cerebras Supercomputer Calculates at 1 Exaflop per Second

Cerebras Systems has unveiled its Andromeda AI supercomputer. With 13.5 million cores, it can calculate at the rate of 1 exaflop — roughly one quintillion (1 followed by 18 zeroes) operations — per second using a 16-bit floating point format. Andromeda’s brain is built of 16 linked Cerebras CS-2 systems, AI computers that use giant Wafer-Scale Engine 2 chips. Each chip has hundreds of thousands of cores, but is more compact and powerful than servers that use standard CPUs, according to Cerebras, which is making Andromeda available for commercial and academic research. Continue reading Cerebras Supercomputer Calculates at 1 Exaflop per Second

Meta Cuts 13 Percent of Workforce, Eliminating 11,000 Jobs

Meta Platforms on Wednesday began layoffs that will affect 11,000 workers — approximately 13 percent of the company’s workforce of 87,000. Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg told the staff via video that “I take full responsibility for this decision,” describing it as “one of the hardest calls I’ve had to make in the 18 years I’ve run the company.” This is the first time mass layoffs have been implemented there. Zuckerberg was described as “downcast” as he discussed the news, saying overly optimistic growth projections led to overstaffing. Continue reading Meta Cuts 13 Percent of Workforce, Eliminating 11,000 Jobs

Apple Has Record Quarter but Slowed Growth Worries Some

Bolstered by iPhone 14 sales, Apple reported fiscal Q4 revenue up just over 8 percent, to $90.1 billion, with a 7.8 percent increase to $394 billion for the 12-month sales session that ended September 24. “We set an all-time revenue record for Mac and September quarter records for iPhone and wearables, home, and accessories,” Apple CEO Tim Cook told analysts, noting “services notched a September quarter record as well, with revenue of $19.2 billion and more than 900 million paid subscriptions.” Even so, the company’s earnings produced a Rashomon effect as peak performance triggered pique among some. Continue reading Apple Has Record Quarter but Slowed Growth Worries Some

With Revenue Down 20 Percent, Intel Plans to Reduce Costs

A sharp decline in demand for PCs is prompting Intel to reevaluate its expenditures, with reduced factory hours and staff reductions among the options under consideration. Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger also says the company is considering divestitures as it seeks to cope with a 20 percent drop in Q3 revenue, to $15.3 billion, and full-year outlook downsized by $1 billion. Intel has been undergoing a reinvention of sorts as it steps into the role of foundry. Increased capex for new plant construction means surgical precision is needed to achieve a goal of $3 billion in 2023 cost cuts. Continue reading With Revenue Down 20 Percent, Intel Plans to Reduce Costs

CTA: Streaming Services Will Be Focus for Holiday Shoppers

Tech items are making the list this holiday season, with the Consumer Technology Association’s annual shoppers survey forecasting a record-breaking 78 percent of U.S. adults — nearly 199 million people — will purchase devices and related services this season. Streaming services, headphones and earbuds, mobile cases, smartphones and game consoles top the trade organization’s survey, the 2022 Hot Tech Holiday Preview. The seasonal projection marks a 4 percent increase over last year. The 78 percent of American shoppers who intend to purchase tech gifts in the coming months will spend an estimated $145 billion. Continue reading CTA: Streaming Services Will Be Focus for Holiday Shoppers

Retailers, Big Tech Get Behind Live-Stream Shopping in U.S.

Live-stream shopping has been slow to take off in the U.S., but some feel the sector is at a tipping point. U.S. revenue from the format is projected to reach $20 billion this year and grow to $57 billion in 2025 says Coresight Research. However, that’s a drop in the bucket compared to the activity in Asia. McKinsey Digital says outlets like Alibaba can rack up more than $7 billion in 30 minutes. Estimates place the Asia-Pacific market at about $180 billion in live-streamed shopping for 2021. Now big players like Walmart, Target, YouTube and TikTok are getting serious about cracking open the U.S. market, too. Continue reading Retailers, Big Tech Get Behind Live-Stream Shopping in U.S.

Amazon Faces Economic Challenges, Continues Cost-Cutting

Amazon is continuing the cost-cutting that CEO Andy Jassy emphasized when the company reported a $2 billion loss in Q2. The company is shutting down Amazon Explore, a virtual tourism initiative launched during the COVID-19 lockdown, unplugging the robotics ventures Canvas and ORCA, and dimming the lights on the Amazon Glow, a video-calling projector for kids. In recent weeks, Amazon also confirmed the end of field tests for the autonomous delivery service Scout. This in the wake of a hiring freeze at its retail division and the closure of the Amazon Care telehealth venture. Continue reading Amazon Faces Economic Challenges, Continues Cost-Cutting

Intel to Restructure Chip Design and Manufacturing Divisions

Intel is fine-tuning its corporate reporting as it gears up a foundry operations that will see the longtime manufacturer and designer of its own chips extend services to third-parties. The idea is to create greater separation between its concept and creation divisions. The change comes as Intel deals with a rapidly shifting global market, where demand for chips has increased in sectors like automotive and AI data centers while the PC business that has been the company’s bedrock suffered a major decline in global shipments of nearly 20 percent in Q3. Continue reading Intel to Restructure Chip Design and Manufacturing Divisions

Google to Shutter Stadia Game Streaming Service in January

Google is shutting down its Stadia video-game streaming service in what many say is a response to leaner times. The cloud-based subscription service is going dark January 18, three years after it launched. It delivers games directly to compatible smart TVs, computers and Android phones, and is accessible to incompatible devices, such as iOS, via web browsers. While Stadia “was built on a strong technology foundation, it hasn’t gained the traction with users that we expected so we’ve made the difficult decision to begin winding down,” Stadia VP and general manager Phil Harrison wrote in a blog post. Continue reading Google to Shutter Stadia Game Streaming Service in January

Snap Canceling Projects and Cutting 20 Percent of Workforce

Snap Inc. announced plans to cancel ongoing projects such as Snap Originals, in-app multiplayer games, HTML mini-apps built by outside developers, and future development of its Pixy selfie-camera drone — all part of a corporate restructuring that will include laying off about 20 percent of its more than 6,400 employees. The company, which operates the popular social media app Snapchat, is taking cost-cutting measures as it faces growing competition from TikTok and other rivals and challenges to its core digital advertising business. Continue reading Snap Canceling Projects and Cutting 20 Percent of Workforce

Tencent Revenue Drops 3 Percent in First Decline Since 2004

Tencent’s nearly two-decade growth trajectory came to a halt Wednesday with a 3 percent revenue drop over the same period in 2021. The contraction marked the Chinese video game and social media giant’s first quarterly revenue decline since going public in 2004. Tencent’s April-June revenue fell by about $20 billion, the result of China’s slowing economy and sagging digital advertising revenue, as well as tighter government video game regulations and diminished consumer user spending. Prior to Q4 2021, Tencent had consistently posted double-digit — and sometimes triple-digit — growth since its IPO. Continue reading Tencent Revenue Drops 3 Percent in First Decline Since 2004

Summer Blockbusters Bringing Moviegoers Back to Theaters

U.S. audiences have been showing up at theaters to see summer blockbusters, a happy plot twist for an industry that saw the bottom fall out during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Films such as Paramount’s “Top Gun: Maverick” and Universal’s “Jurassic World Dominion” and “Minions: The Rise of Gru” have proven that despite the surge in streaming, audiences will trek out of the home for content that rises to the level of an event. “There’s no question that we’re coming back — in relevance, and in actual behavior,” said Warner Bros. domestic distribution president Jeff Goldstein. Continue reading Summer Blockbusters Bringing Moviegoers Back to Theaters

Pew: YouTube Most Popular with Teens, Followed by TikTok

YouTube is the most popular social media platform among teens, with 95 percent of 13- to 17-year-olds saying they use the service, according to the Pew Research study “Teens, Social Media and Technology 2022.” TikTok is currently ranked second, with a 67 percent teen buy-in, according to the study, followed by Instagram (62 percent) and Snapchat (59 percent). While neither YouTube nor TikTok were on the Pew ranking when the previous survey was released in 2015, Facebook fell precipitously — from first to fifth place — with 32 percent of teens onboard in 2022, versus 71 percent seven years ago. Continue reading Pew: YouTube Most Popular with Teens, Followed by TikTok

Record $7.4B in Theme Parks Propels Profit Surge for Disney

It was a successful fiscal third quarter for The Walt Disney Company, which saw revenue jump 26 percent and profits up 54 percent compared to the same period in 2021. The company, celebrating its centenary, had revenue of $21.5 billion and profits of $1.41 billion (77 cents a share) for the three months ending July 2. Theme park revenue was up more than 70 percent, to $7.4 billion, as the company continued to shake COVID-19 contractions. For an added flourish, Disney+ grew a whopping 31 percent worldwide, adding 14.4 million subscribers to top out at 152 million. Continue reading Record $7.4B in Theme Parks Propels Profit Surge for Disney

Streaming Viewership to Surpass Cable TV Before Year’s End

Streaming is expected to overtake linear TV viewing by the end of the year, according to a study by research firm Omdia. The Gauge, Nielsen’s latest media analysis report, found that streaming claimed 34 percent of total TV time in June for a fourth consecutive monthly record. That’s what cable claimed in June 2021, only to decline to 35 percent in June 2022. Nielsen SVP of product strategy and thought leadership Brian Fuhrer says what is unusual is “the extraordinary breakout that a number of the streamers had,” with Netflix jumping the most, a full share point. Continue reading Streaming Viewership to Surpass Cable TV Before Year’s End