Tech

NVIDIA logo shown at SIGGRAPH 2017
FILE PHOTO: A NVIDIA logo is shown at SIGGRAPH 2017 in Los Angeles, California, U.S. July 31, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake

March 19, 2019

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel-based Cognata, a developer of simulation platforms for self-driving cars, said on Tuesday it was partnering with U.S. chip supplier Nvidia Corp to speed up testing and validation for autonomous driving.

The companies will deliver an array of scenario and traffic models using large-scale, hardware-in-the-loop simulation, it said.

The simulation, Cognata said, will reduce testing time and costs, as well as produce better product quality and increase safety.

“Highly accurate and scalable traffic model simulation technology is essential to validate autonomous vehicle systems within nearly infinite combinations of real-world scenarios,” said Cognata CEO Danny Atsmon.

(Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Steven Scheer)

Source: OANN

Silhouettes of mobile users are seen next to a screen projection of Instagram logo in this picture illustration
FILE PHOTO: Silhouettes of mobile users are seen next to a screen projection of Instagram logo in this picture illustration taken March 28, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

March 19, 2019

(Reuters) – Facebook Inc’s Instagram will now let U.S. users to shop products directly from the photo sharing app by adding a ‘checkout’ feature on items tagged for sale, the company said on Tuesday.

The move is in line with Facebook’s plan to monetize higher-growth units like Instagram, especially as the company’s centerpiece product, News Feed, struggles to generate fresh interest.

Instagram said it has partnered with more than 20 brands, including Adidas and H&M, on the new feature.

The photo sharing app has more than 130 million people tapping to reveal product tags in shopping posts every month, up from 90 million in September, it said.

(Reporting by Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru and Katie Paul in San Francisco; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

Source: OANN

An Angry Birds game character is seen at the Rovio headquarters in Espoo
FILE PHOTO: An Angry Birds game character is seen at the Rovio headquarters in Espoo, Finland March 13, 2019. Picture taken March 13, 2019. REUTERS/Anne Kauranen

March 19, 2019

(Reuters) – Finnish game company Rovio released an augmented reality game called Angry Birds Isle of Pigs, developed together with Swedish game studio Resolution Games for Apple’s mobile devices, the Finnish games developer said on Tuesday.

The release announced at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco came in addition to the two games the company had promised to release this year, with one of them already out.

(Reporting by Anne Kauranen; Editing by Edmund Blair)

Source: OANN

People walk past a Xiaomi store in Shenyang
FILE PHOTO: People walk past a Xiaomi store in Shenyang, Liaoning province, China June 12, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer

March 19, 2019

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp said on Tuesday its fourth-quarter net profit more than tripled to 1.85 billion yuan ($275.59 million), on stronger revenue.

That profit exceeded the 1.7 billion yuan average estimate of 10 analysts, according to Refinitiv data.

Revenue for the period increased 27 percent to 44.4 billion yuan, lower than the 47.4 billion yuan average estimate of 13 analysts, according to Refinitiv data.

For the full 2018 calendar year, Xiaomi brought in revenue of 174.9 billion yuan and made a net profit of 8.6 billion yuan.

This marks the third set of financial results for the company since its IPO in Hong Kong. Xiaomi shares have rallied nearly 30 percent since early January, though they remain well below their July listing price.

(Reporting by Josh Horwitz; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

Source: OANN

An exterior view of China Evergrande Centre in Hong Kong
FILE PHOTO: An exterior view of China Evergrande Centre in Hong Kong, China March 26, 2018. Picture taken March 26, 2018. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

March 19, 2019

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese property firm Evergrande Group will start producing its first electric vehicles in June as part of a goal to become the world’s largest new energy vehicle (NEV) company within the next three to five years, according to its chairman.

Hui Ka Yan made the comments at a conference in the eastern city of Tianjin over the weekend, according to a statement published on the company’s website on Tuesday.

“The new energy automobile industry has a huge market prospect. Evergrande has completed the entire industrial chain layout in the field of new energy vehicles,” Hui said.

He also said that Evergrande plans to start selling its first electric vehicle model globally “soon”, which will use electric car production technology from Swedish car makers Saab and Koenigsegg, and drive systems from Netherlands’ e-Traction, according to the statement.

Evergrande, China’s second-largest property developer by sales, has been aggressively expanding into the automotive space in search of new areas of growth as the Chinese property market slows.

Its subsidiary, Evergrande Health, invested in vehicle manufacturer National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB and Chinese auto battery maker Shanghai CENAT New Energy Co this year. It is also the majority investor in Swedish super car brand Koenigsegg.

Not all of its investments have gone smoothly, however.

Last year, Evergrande Health bought 45 percent of Chinese electric vehicle firm Faraday Future as part of a $2 billion plan but the deal eventually turned sour. The companies have since ended their legal fight.

Sales of NEV vehicles have remained a bright spot in China’s car market, jumping 61.7 percent in 2018 to 1.3 million vehicles even as the overall car market contracted for the first time since the 1990s. China’s biggest auto industry association predicts NEV sales to hit 1.6 million this year.

(Reporting by Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Yandex.Drive carsharing cars are seen at a parking lot in Moscow
FILE PHOTO: Yandex.Drive carsharing cars are seen at a parking lot in Moscow, Russia September 10, 2018. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

March 19, 2019

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s Yandex and Hyundai Mobis Co Ltd, an auto parts affiliate of Hyundai Motor Co, agreed to jointly develop control systems for driverless vehicles, Yandex said on Tuesday.

The companies plan to present a driverless prototype vehicle based on a standard Hyundai or Kia production model cars before the end of the year, a Yandex spokesman said.

In the future, the cooperation aims at building a new autonomous driving control system for car manufacturers, car sharing services and taxi fleets.

Yandex added they may expand into other areas of cooperation such as developing joint products that would integrate Yandex’s speech, navigation, and mapping technologies.

The Russian company began testing self-driving prototypes in 2017 and launched a fully autonomous taxi service last year in the university city of Innopolis and the Skolkovo innovations center.

(Reporting by Anastasia Teterevleva; Writing by Polina Nikolskaya and Maria Kiselyova; Editing by Louise Heavens)

Source: OANN

A journalist uses his mobile phone to take a picture of the 5G logo prior to the auction of spectrum for 5G services at the Bundesnetzagentur head quarters in Mainz
A journalist uses his mobile phone to take a picture of the 5G logo prior to the auction of spectrum for 5G services at the Bundesnetzagentur head quarters in Mainz, Germany, March 19, 2019. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

March 19, 2019

MAINZ, Germany (Reuters) – Germany launched its 5G mobile spectrum auction on Tuesday, finally going ahead after a court threw out legal challenges and regulators resisted U.S. pressure to ban Chinese network vendors from building out next-generation networks.

Four firms are vying for 41 blocks of spectrum in the 2 GHz and 3.6 GHz bands that are suited to running ‘connected’ factories – a priority for Europe’s largest economy as it seeks to remain competitive in the digital age.

“It is important for us that we have a focus on industry, and on better coverage,” Jochen Homann, head of the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) said ahead of the auction.

Germany’s three network operators – Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and Telefonica Deutschland – have been admitted into the auction.

Also participating is 1&1 Drillisch, a virtual mobile operator controlled by United Internet that wants to run a fourth network.

Bid teams surrendered their smartphones on entering the former army barracks in the southwestern city of Mainz where the auction is being held. They are bidding via a secure network from separate rooms and can only discuss strategy with their head offices via fax.

All 41 blocks will be auctioned simultaneously, with results posted online after each round. The government hopes to raise billions from the auction – a 4G auction in 2015 collected 5.1 billion euros ($5.8 billion) – which is likely to go on for weeks.

After months of uncertainty, the auction went ahead after a court last week threw out lawsuits from the operators, who had complained that a requirement to provide high-speed coverage to 98 percent of households by 2022 was too onerous.

Regulators also clarified ground rules applying to network equipment vendors following U.S. pressure on its allies to ban China’s Huawei Technologies on national security grounds.

Germany opted instead to impose tighter compliance requirements on all vendors, creating a level playing field and allaying the concerns of the operators – all of which already use Huawei equipment – that they would have to replace parts of their networks at great expense.

“The same rules apply, whether you are from Sweden or China,” Homann told reporters.

(Reporting by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

Source: OANN

An employee of Germany's Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur) uses his mobile phone in front of a screen set up for the auction of spectrum for 5G services at the Bundesnetzagentur headquarters in Mainz
An employee of Germany’s Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur) uses his mobile phone in front of a screen set up for the auction of spectrum for 5G services at the Bundesnetzagentur headquarters in Mainz, Germany, March 18, 2019. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

March 19, 2019

By Douglas Busvine

MAINZ, Germany (Reuters) – Germany begins an auction of spectrum for next-generation 5G mobile networks on Tuesday, the outcome of which will play a decisive role in determining whether Europe’s largest economy remains competitive in the digital age.

It nearly didn’t happen: a raft of lawsuits brought by network operators was thrown out by a court only last week. The buildup has also been overshadowed by U.S. pressure on its allies to bar Chinese vendors from participating in building 5G networks due to national security fears.

In the end, regulators preferred to draft tougher rules for all vendors rather than meet the U.S. demand to banish China’s Huawei Technologies, the global network market leader.

Here’s an overview of how the auction will work:

WHAT IS BEING AUCTIONED?

Germany’s Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) is auctioning off 41 blocks of spectrum in the 2 GHz and 3.6 GHz bands.

These frequencies have relatively short range and high data-carrying capacity, suiting them to use in running ‘connected’ factories – an industrial policy priority.

Urban areas should get 5G coverage early, with another application likely to be super-fast domestic wireless broadband.

WHO’S TAKING PART?

Germany’s three network operators – Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and Telefonica Deutschland – have been admitted into the auction.

Also participating is 1&1 Drillisch, a virtual mobile operator controlled by United Internet that wants to run a fourth network.

The Big Three filed lawsuits to delay the auction, arguing that its requirement to provide high-speed coverage to 98 percent of households by 2022 was too onerous. They also criticized rules for network sharing, arguing they would make life too easy for new market entrants.

The Cologne Administrative Court threw out those lawsuits on Friday. Outstanding litigation may yet lead to the results of the auction being reviewed, although BNetzA says it is on firm legal ground.

HOW MUCH MONEY WILL THE AUCTION RAISE?

BNetzA has declined to forecast proceeds but the federal government hopes to raise several billion euros – money it will reinvest in upgrading Germany’s broadband networks.

The last auction in 2015, for 4G frequencies, raised 5.1 billion euros ($5.8 billion). Back in 2000, a 3G auction raised more than 50 billion euros – a ruinous sum that forced some players out of the market and others to merge.

HOW WILL IT WORK?

The auction is being held in old army barracks in the south-western city of Mainz. Bid teams will have to surrender their phones when they enter. They will submit offers from separate rooms via a secure network, and can only seek guidance via fax from their head offices.

All 41 blocks will be auctioned simultaneously and results will be published online https://www.bundesnetzagentur.de/DE/Sachgebiete/Telekommunikation/Unternehmen_Institutionen/Frequenzen/OeffentlicheNetze/Mobilfunknetze/mobilfunknetze-node.html after each round. Minimum bids range between 1.7 million and 5 million euros and total 104.6 million euros. The process ends when no fresh bids are entered.

Based on past experience, the auction could run for weeks – a previous one in 2010 lasted six weeks.

WHAT ABOUT U.S. CALLS TO SHUT OUT CHINESE VENDORS?

Germany resisted calls from the United States to shut Chinese network vendors out of its 5G buildout due to national security concerns.

Instead of banning Huawei outright, regulators have tightened rules on all network vendors. These won’t bid in the auction but will be key partners in upgrading network infrastructure.

WHAT ABOUT OTHER EUROPEAN AUCTIONS?

Several countries – among them Ireland, Finland, Italy, Switzerland and Austria – have already auctioned 5G spectrum. Most have been low-key affairs, with only modest sums raised because the sales were designed to leave operators with money left over to invest in network upgrades.

The exception was Italy, where frenzied bidding last year raised 6.5 billion euros for the cash-strapped government but left operators financially stretched.

Countries like France have yet to hold 5G auctions, leaving Europe as a whole lagging early adopters like the United States, Japan and Korea.

($1 = 0.8818 euros)

(Reporting by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Concrete pipes connecting the bauxite residue deposit to its water treatment station are pictured at the alumina refinery Alunorte, owned by Norwegian company Norsk Hydro ASA, in Barcarena
FILE PHOTO: Concrete pipes connecting the bauxite residue deposit to its water treatment station are pictured at the alumina refinery Alunorte, owned by Norwegian company Norsk Hydro ASA, in Barcarena, Para state, Brazil March 5, 2018. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes/File Photo

March 19, 2019

OSLO (Reuters) – Norsk Hydro, one of the world’s largest producers of aluminum, was sustaining a cyber attack on Tuesday that affected its operations, sending its shares lower.

“IT-systems in most business areas are impacted and Hydro is switching to manual operations as far as possible. Hydro is working to contain and neutralize the attack, but does not yet know the full extent of the situation,” it said in a statement.

Norsk Hydro’s website was unavailable on Tuesday. The company was not immediately available for further comment.

Hydro’s shares were down 2.9 percent at 0806 GMT, lagging an Oslo benchmark index up 0.13 percent.

(Reporting by Gwladys Fouche, editing by Terje Solsvik)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Intel logo is seen behind LED lights in this illustration
FILE PHOTO: Intel logo is seen behind LED lights in this illustration taken January 5, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

March 19, 2019

By Tova Cohen and Steven Scheer

TEL AVIV (Reuters) – Israel’s exports of computer chips to China soared last year as Chinese companies bought more semiconductors made at Intel’s Kiryat Gat plant.

An official at the Israel Export Institute told Reuters that new data showed semiconductor exports to China jumped 80 percent last year to $2.6 billion. An industry source told Reuters that Intel Israel accounted for at least 80 percent of those sales.

The data will be welcome news for the Israeli government as it pushes for deeper ties with China and because semiconductors accounted for $3.9 billion of overall goods exports in 2018, according to the institute, a government agency.

The two countries have started negotiating a trade deal and technology is expected to be a major part of the discussions. Overall exports of Israeli goods to China, excluding diamonds, rose 50 percent to $4.7 billion, statistics.

Intel announced a $5 billion investment to expand capacity in its Kiryat Gat plant in southern Israel in 2017, which makes some of the smallest and fastest chips in the world.

That year it also bought Israeli auto-focused chip and technology firm Mobileye for $15 billion. It said this year it would invest $11 billion in a new Israeli plant.

A spokesman for Intel said the firm exported $3.9 billion worth of goods from Israel last year, up from $3.6 billion in 2017. He declined to give further details of Intel’s operations in Israel.

Chinese officials have said they are looking to develop a domestic chip market because Chinese companies import $270 billion of semiconductors each year. Israel has a reputation for exporting high-end chips.

Israel’s export institute also said sales to China of inspection equipment for semiconductor manufacturing jumped 64 percent to $450 million last year.

That equipment is used to control and inspect manufacturing processes in semiconductor plants and is useful for China as its domestic chip manufacturing increases.

Companies in Israel making such equipment include Orbotech, which was just acquired by fellow semiconductor equipment maker KLA-Tencor of California for about $3.4 billion.

That deal was announced a year ago but was held up by Chinese regulators, who only gave their approval in February.

PIVOT TO ASIA

China is now Israel’s second largest export market for goods after the United States, having overtaken Britain last year.

Sales of semiconductors to the United States slipped 20 percent to $860 million, contributing to a 3 percent drop in goods exports. But at $10.9 billion, overall goods exports still dwarf those to China.

Israel has been pivoting its economy toward Asia in the past few years both because of perceived political hostility in some European countries and the fact that Asian markets are growing rapidly.

In recent years, Chinese-based airlines have started direct flights to Tel Aviv, the two countries signed a visa agreement and are working on the trade deal. Israel is also in talks for free trade agreements with Vietnam and South Korea.

Some analysts in China expect the ties to get stronger due to the tit-for-tat trade war between the United States, a major chip producer, and China.

“Because of the trade war, China and Israel’s cooperation is closer than it has been before,” said Gu Wenjun, chief analyst at ICWise, a semiconductor consultancy in Shanghai.

“Israel has the technology and China has the market – the space for cooperation is big.”

Eyal Waldman, founder and CEO of Israeli chipmaker Mellanox, said his company was benefiting from China’s policies.

“In China they prefer to use Chinese silicon and then after that non-U.S. silicon and only if they don’t have that then U.S. silicon, so we are benefiting from that,” he told Reuters.

“We are seeing better growth in China.”

Mellanox agreed this week to sell itself to California-based chipmaker Nvidia Corp for almost $7 billion. Intel lost the bidding war to Nvidia. Russell Ellwanger, the CEO of another major chip manufacturer TowerJazz, said his company’s growth in China “is very, very strong”.

(Additional reporting by Josh Horwitz in Shanghai and Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; editing by Anna Willard)

Source: OANN


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