Metamaterials are artificial materials engineered to have properties not found in naturally occurring materials and they are best known as materials for the ‘invisibility cloak’ often featured in SF novels or games.
By precisely designing artificial atoms that are smaller than the wavelength of light and controlling the polarization and spin of light, new optical properties are made that are not found in nature.
However, the current process require numerous trial and failures until the right material is obtained. It is not only time consuming but also compromise efficiency. And AI is expected to provide a solution for this problem.
Source: AI Designs Metamaterials Used in the Invisibility Cloak – Semiconductor Digest
All across the world, entrepreneurs like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Richard Branson are taking their boyhood dreams of space travel and turning them into commercial space enterprises. Much of NASA’s work is now done by commercial companies.
Indeed, when man heads off to the moon again over the coming decade, it will be commercial space vehicles – coordinating with NASA – that will carry the human payload.
NASA has always used private companies to develop and product technology for space flight, so the aspect of private space technology is not new. “NASA has always had private companies building their equipment, usually aerospace companies already involved with military production,” said Loretta Hall.
“Companies such as Lockheed Martin and Boeing were involved.”
Source: Private Companies Will Lead the Next Wave of Space Travel | Design News
Good news and bad news from the 5G front in South Korea.
Since their joint April 3 launch, the three operators — KT, SK Telecom and LG Uplus — are racking up subscribers at a record clip.
They passed the 1 million mark in early June, beating the time it took 4G to reach that milestone, and have since picked up the pace, with total users now likely to exceed 2 million.
The bad — or baddish — news is that they are counting the financial cost of being the world’s first fully fledged 5G market.
Each operator is set to post weaker quarterly earnings because of rollout and marketing costs.
Source: South Korean Telcos Count Cost of 5G but Talk Up New Services | Light Reading
Vodafone has revealed it will create what it calls Europe’s “largest tower portfolio”, comprising 61,700 towers in 10 national markets, settling some of its debt by creating potential earnings of around €900 million.
The British-based conglomerate’s European tower infrastructure will be separated into a new organization, referred to as TowerCo, which will begin operating in May 2020 with a dedicated management team.
Vodafone said in might sell shares in TowerCo in an initial public offer (IPO) as one of “a variety of monetization alternatives” that it will look at over the next 18 months.
Source: Capacity Media
Marc Ganzi’s two big telecoms investment arms, Colony Capital and Digital Bridge Holdings, are to merge, with Ganzi (pictured) becoming CEO of both.
The two have been intertwined for some time, with their Digital Colony Partners leading a number of takeovers – including the current $14.3 billion bid for Zayo.
Ganzi said: “I’m thrilled to combine our team with their powerful arsenal of operating and financial expertise, and the Colony balance sheet and fundraising channels, which will enable us to scale and stay ahead of trends in digital infrastructure.”
Source: Capacity Media
Although companies are leaving China, they’re not necessarily moving all their operations.
Most multinationals have only moved traditional businesses related to the United States. Production lines remaining in China are still supplying goods to the domestic Chinese market and other non-US markets.
They have relocated some production lines to Vietnam, India, Thailand and Malaysia, among other locales, to serve an international market that includes the United States.
Notably, in recent years, many multinationals have tried to avoid adding production lines in mainland China. Instead, they’ve built or expanded their manufacturing bases in Southeast Asia or other countries elsewhere.
Source: Who’s Who in the Exodus from China to Southeast Asia | EE Times
The world’s seven largest data centers, aka the hyperscalers, have created huge chip markets, driving the semiconductor industry to new performance heights and cost floors. Some fear that they also are distracting chip vendors from the needs of smaller, more diverse users.
Even more worrying, most hyperscalers have set up their own world-class design teams, threatening to become rivals. They are already designing leading-edge AI accelerators and smart network controllers, and they are just starting to release open-source RTL, which they claim will be a growing trend.
Competing with these leviathans is tough, but losing their business altogether is even more frightening. That could happen as regulators in Europe and the U.S. now target a handful of the top hyperscalers, threatening to break them up.
Source: Semiconductors Swim with Seven Whales | EE Times
Semiconductor industry revenue is on track to decline further than initially expected this year as a combination of factors, including memory price declines and the U.S.-China trade war, continues to hit the industry harder than originally forecast, according to market research firm Gartner.
Gartner (Stamford, Connecticut) said that it now expects chip sales to fall by nearly 10% to $429 billion this year, which would mark the lowest revenue for the industry since 2017. The forecast represents a revision from Gartner’s previous forecast, issued last quarter, which called for chip sales to decline by 3.4% this year.
Source: Semiconductor Market Conditions Deteriorate Further | EE Times
The hyperscalers’ presence — and their deep pockets — was like a ray of sunshine for what might otherwise have been a dreary event for an industry in the midst of a significant downturn.
The appearance of engineers from these firms in such large numbers was proof-positive that, despite the semiconductor industry’s unenviable current position on the supply-demand curve, there is a very bright light at the end of the tunnel: Many, many more chips will be made.
Glamour companies the likes of Google and Facebook generally don’t like to get their hands dirty.
They mostly make their hay through sophisticated software algorithms developed by their teams of programmers. They certainly don’t build semiconductors, and they have no desire to start doing so anytime soon.
Why, then, would these massive companies with billions of users take such keen interest in things as esoteric as the edge deposition layer thickness specification on a batch sputtering tool?
Source: Tech Titans Beginning to Drive Process Technology Roadmap | EE Times
While it’s best to start embedding compliance activities into software design from the very beginning, it’s a well-known fact that stringent development processes (especially without the aid of automation) can impact time-to-market.
Not many developers enjoy doing additional testing and documenting traceability outside of normal working hours, so pragmatic, agile, and fast-paced teams often cannot afford to lose momentum by building compliance into the schedule on the premise that they “might need it” in the future. Instead, many teams choose to “cross that bridge when they come to it.”
Unfortunately, there is no magic wand or silver bullet that retroactively “makes” code compliant.
What these organizations are learning the hard way is that the cost of adding compliance at the end of the project is orders of magnitude higher than the cost of developing the initial working product.
Source: 3 Practical Ways to Future-Proof Your IoT Devices – IoT Times