The NVIDIA acquisition of Arm, which we discussed last week, may take a bit longer than expected. And the amount of available memory chips is now considered a “matter of national security.” We discuss these stories and more on this week’s Rundown.
Palm trees, sandy beaches, coconuts, and … robot dogs? The capital of Hawai’i, Honolulu, is one of several municipalities using Spot, the Boston Dynamics robo-dogs, to bolster the effects of their police force. Currently, the Honolulu Police Department uses Spot robodogs to scan people at a nearby government tent city for fever, indicating potential COVID-19 infection, as well as remotely interviewing infected individuals. In spite of these altruistic uses, many worry about the potential for misuse, including aggression and violations of privacy. Do you think there’s a future for robot dogs that doesn’t end in the subjugation of humanity?
Salesforce, who recently bought Slack, are continuing their acquisition rally by purchasing Servicetrace, the German robotic process automation (RPA) company. Folding it into Mulesoft, the addition of Servicetrace will enable Salesforce to expand their workflow automation capabilities. Is this move helping Salesforce take one step further towards making the Tech big three into a big four, or is this purchase just business as usual for the Benioff camp?
Call Tom Cruise, because this next one is right out of Minority Report. The Pentagon announced their “precognitive” AI, a part of the Global Information Dominance Experiments (GIDE) project, can now “predict events days before they happen”. Generally, GIDE is being used to identify where to mobilize forces, but as of the most recent dry run, several believe it is ready to be tested in the field. Do you think we’ll be seeing more applications of predictive AI, military or otherwise, or should this remain in the realm of sci-fi?
It seems to be a summer of spending in the world of acquisitions and mergers because we’ve got another one: infrastructure semiconductor leaders Marvell announced they will be purchasing cloud and edge data center networking company, Innovium, in a $1.1B deal. According to Marvell, the deal should enable the addition of approximately $150 million in incremental revenue by the next fiscal year. Will this move give Marvell the edge over competitors like Micron and Broadcomm?
A report from Moody Analytics claims that the global shortage of semiconductor chips is reaching a fever pitch: more and more countries are investing in their own semiconductor manufacturing as the amount of available memory chips is now considered a “matter of national security.” With memory chips a prerequisite in almost anything these days, from phones and cars to lightbulbs and washing machines, will we reach the brink where we can’t produce chips more than we consume, or is this just a brief drought in an otherwise plentiful harvest?
The NVIDIA acquisition of Arm, which we discussed last week, may take a bit longer than expected. Originally slated for the end of 2021, the takeover is running into snags with Chinese regulators who have raised concerns amidst the trade war between China and the US. Additionally, NVIDIA still needs to submit their paperwork to the European Regulatory Committee, meaning they are behind schedule there as well. Stephen, are these kind of hold ups to be expected in a massive deal like this one, or is there something more going on here?
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