Samsung Will Receive Up to $6.4 Billion in CHIPS Act Funding

Samsung Electronics will receive up to $6.4 billion in funding for semiconductor manufacturing in the U.S. as part of the CHIPS and Science Act. Samsung Semiconductor CEO Kye Hyun Kyung and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo celebrated the news this week at the company’s Taylor, Texas plant. The funds are earmarked for Samsung’s expansion in Central Texas to create additional manufacturing capabilities of essential chips for the AI, automotive, IoT, aerospace and other sectors. With the funds, Samsung is “strengthening the local semiconductor ecosystem and positioning the U.S. as a global semiconductor manufacturing destination,” Kyung said. Continue reading Samsung Will Receive Up to $6.4 Billion in CHIPS Act Funding

CES: A Look at the U.S. Security Risks of Foreign Investment

CTA Vice President of International Trade Ed Brzytwa discussed the sensitive topic of foreign investment transactions with U.S. Department of the Treasury Assistant Secretary for Investment Security Paul Rosen, who runs the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS). Rosen stated that CFIUS was established almost 50 years ago and has been reauthorized by Congress many times. “The mission is to review foreign investments that come into U.S. businesses for national security risks,” he said. “We’re looking to assess who’s getting access to sensitive U.S. assets or getting control of a U.S. company.” Continue reading CES: A Look at the U.S. Security Risks of Foreign Investment

SAP Plans to Launch Its New AI Assistant ‘Joule’ in November

Enterprise software firm SAP is launching its own AI assistant named “Joule,” which will be embedded throughout the company’s cloud portfolio, offering users contextualized insights across SAP apps and third-party sources on both desktop and mobile platforms. The German business solutions giant has an estimated 300 million global enterprise users using its software for applications related to managing human resources, finance, supply chain, procurement and customer experience, as well as the underlying SAP Business Technology Platform. Continue reading SAP Plans to Launch Its New AI Assistant ‘Joule’ in November

Amazon Boosts Efforts to Ship its Prime Deliveries in One Day

Amazon says it achieved its “fastest Prime speeds ever” for deliveries across the 60 largest U.S. metro areas in Q2, when more than half its member orders arrived “the same or next day.” The benchmark announcement precedes this week’s earnings statement and was couched as fulfillment and transportation investments that have paid off. Amazon says it will in two years double the number of same-day delivery sites. So far in 2023 it has “delivered more than 1.8 billion units to U.S. Prime members the same or next day,” almost four times the shipments delivered at that rate during the same period in in 2019. Continue reading Amazon Boosts Efforts to Ship its Prime Deliveries in One Day

IBM and Adobe Advance AI Content Workflow for Enterprise

IBM and Adobe are expanding their partnership to help enterprise clients accelerate their content supply chains using artificial intelligence including Adobe Sensei GenAI, released in March, and Adobe Firefly, now in beta, as well as Adobe’s generative AI models. IBM says it will create a portfolio of Adobe-specific consulting services. Leveraging Adobe’s AI solutions and IBM Consulting services, the companies aim to “help clients build an integrated content supply chain ecosystem that drives collaboration, optimizes creativity, increases speed, automates tasks and enhances stakeholders’ visibility across design and creative projects.” Continue reading IBM and Adobe Advance AI Content Workflow for Enterprise

Japan, U.S., Netherlands Seek to Limit China’s Chip Industry

Japan decided last week to join the U.S. and Netherlands in limiting exports of chipmaking gear to China. As early as July, suppliers of 23 types of chip technology will need a government sign-off to export to countries including China, which has been struggling to build a domestic chip industry. Japanese companies impacted by the restrictions include Tokyo Electron, Lasertec, Nikon Corp. and Screen Holdings, according to the Japanese trade ministry. The central goal of the clampdown is to make it harder for Chinese firms to produce advanced chips for artificial intelligence. Continue reading Japan, U.S., Netherlands Seek to Limit China’s Chip Industry

Apple Hardware Sales Decline, Services Remain Bright Spot

Apple’s three-year streak of record-setting sales and profit came to an end with the company’s fiscal first quarter for 2023. The three-month period ending December 31, 2022 produced revenue of $117.2 billion, down 5 percent year-over-year. Apple said the results capped an earnings season “in which the world’s biggest technology companies mostly struggled to shake off a postpandemic hangover.” It was the Cupertino-based company’s first quarterly revenue decline in almost four years, attributable largely to supply chain disruptions in China causing a holiday sales season shortage of the high-end iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max. Continue reading Apple Hardware Sales Decline, Services Remain Bright Spot

Manufacturers Are Impacted by Sagging Memory Chip Prices

Memory chip prices have plummeted this past year, with continued declines expected through Q2. The painful supply chain shortages of 2020 have been replaced, in many instances, by inventory gluts, with some chipmakers talking about scaling back expansion plans. The average price for memory chips used in consumer electronics — from TV sets to smartphones and personal computers — are expected to dip by double-digits in Q1, analysts say. In 2022, prices declined by 20 percent starting in Q2. TrendForce predicts inflation and high interest rates will continue to suppress corporate and consumer spending on electronic devices, including data servers. Continue reading Manufacturers Are Impacted by Sagging Memory Chip Prices

CES: The NPD Group Analyzes Changes in Consumer Trends

The NPD Group’s Paul Gagnon and Ben Arnold presented “7 Ways the CE Consumer Has Changed” in the last few years. U.S. consumer attitudes and behaviors changed from early-pandemic lockdown to the slow reopening, and then the fear of inflation and recession. In general, consumers are buying more for individuals than for shared home experiences, they have equipped themselves for remote work which may suppress future sales until they are ready to upgrade, and they buy when bargains appear even if they plan to actually open them for a holiday or special occasion. Continue reading CES: The NPD Group Analyzes Changes in Consumer Trends

Apple Fast-Tracks Plan to Move Some Production from China

The protests and riots in response to China’s restrictive COVID-19 policies have resulted in Apple accelerating plans to relocate a chunk of production in that country, according to news reports claiming that “turmoil” in a Zhengzhou area called iPhone City helped prompt the change. At peak output, the zone produced roughly 85 percent of the iPhone Pro lineup, according to The Wall Street Journal, which says the factory “was convulsed in late November by violent protests.” China has long been the primary manufacturing location for Apple products. Vietnam and India are reportedly high on Apple’s list of alternate sites. Continue reading Apple Fast-Tracks Plan to Move Some Production from China

Major Discounts Propel Cyber Monday to New Sales Record

Cyber Monday racked up $11.3 billion in online sales, according to Adobe Analytics, which reports a 5.8 percent increase over 2021’s spending of $10.7 billion (which was down slightly from 2020’s $10.8 billion). The 2022 result was a record for Cyber Monday and also for the year-to-date. Thanksgiving sales totaled $5.29 billion, while Black Friday hit $9.12 billion — both outperforming earlier forecasts. All in, “Cyber Week,” including the days off and workdays during which people continued to shop, is estimated to have tallied $35.27 billion in online sales, a 4 percent increase year-over-year. Continue reading Major Discounts Propel Cyber Monday to New Sales Record

Meta Expands Advantage Program with AI-Powered Ad Tools

Meta Platforms is expanding its Meta Advantage advertising automation program, an effort to mitigate fallout from Apple’s consumer privacy measures, which have substantially constrained its ability to target and personalize ads. Launched in March, Meta Advantage bundles AI and ad automation tools to simplify the process for advertisers. This week the company added Advantage+ Shopping, assisting in campaign creation, simultaneously offering up to 150 automated creative combinations. The update offers more options to e-commerce brands and is geared toward optimizing the presence of Facebook or Instagram storefronts. Continue reading Meta Expands Advantage Program with AI-Powered Ad Tools

Pinterest Launches TV Studio App for Creator Live Streaming

Pinterest has launched a new app that makes it easier for creators to live-stream content. Pinterest TV Studio for iOS and Android lets select creators stream live on Pinterest from multiple devices, in order to achieve different camera angles. Initially available in limited release, creators must obtain a special code from Pinterest in order to unlock the Studio functionality. As part of its latest quarterly earnings, announced April 27, Pinterest co-founder and CEO Ben Silverman said the company grew global revenue 18 percent year-over-year, “despite a challenging macroeconomic and geopolitical environment.” Continue reading Pinterest Launches TV Studio App for Creator Live Streaming

Apple Eyes the Modem Chip Market Dominated by Qualcomm

Apple is reportedly poised to compete in the modem market. The company is said to be laying the groundwork to create chips that control the Internet connectivity of its mobile devices, including the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. In theory, the move paves the way for an always-on future where smart glasses and augmented reality achieve ubiquity, and iPhones and other Apple mobile devices have faster download and streaming speeds. Observers say Cupertino’s high bar to entry means creating a chip that outperforms those made by Qualcomm, current manufacturer of Apple’s connectivity chips. Continue reading Apple Eyes the Modem Chip Market Dominated by Qualcomm

Apple Reports Record $97 Billion Quarter but Somber Outlook

Apple’s fiscal Q2 was one of the best quarters in its 46 years of business. The company reported record revenue of $97.3 billion, up 9 percent year-over-year, far outperforming analyst expectations of $94 billion. More than $28 billion in operating cash flow and a return of nearly $27 billion to Apple shareholders resulted in the January through March period. But Apple warned that the outlook could dim in the current quarter, with China’s COVID-19 resurgence threatening to slow manufacturing, stymying sales by anywhere from $4 billion to $8 billion in fiscal Q3. Continue reading Apple Reports Record $97 Billion Quarter but Somber Outlook